• Norway

    Context    

    In September 2021, Norway held parliamentary elections resulting in a change of government. After eight years with a centre-right coalition government led by former Prime Minister Erna Solberg, the Norwegian Labour Party and Centre Party formed a minority government, electing Jonas Gahr Støre as Norway's new Prime Minister. In addition, Anniken Huitfeldt (Labour Party) was elected as the new Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Anne Beathe Tvinnereim (Centre Party) elected as the new Minister of International Development.

    The former government defined health, education, private sector and job-creation, climate and renewable energy together with humanitarian support as their main priority areas within Norway´s official development aid (ODA). Sexual and gender based violence (SGBV) in humanitarian crises and elimination of harmful practices were other major priorities.

    The new government elected has defined six priority areas for Norwegian ODA in the upcoming period. These are climate and renewable energy, hunger reduction and food security, poverty reduction, women's bodily autonomy, humanitarian assistance, and fight of infectious diseases, health preparedness and pandemic management. In the new government's political platform Hurdalsplattformen, the Norwegian government emphasizes the importance of strengthening women's rights to decide over their own bodies. The government wants to strengthen Norwegian efforts, establish new alliances and increase support for family planning, contraception and safe abortions.

    Norway's total expenditure to ODA in 2020 was NOK 39,5 billion (€ 3.95 billion). The new government will maintain the level of Norwegian ODA for the upcoming years, committing to spend at least 1% of GNI on international development.

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    Policies & funding

    Norway increased support to sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) following the reinstatement of the USA “Mexico City Policy”. This was done partly through the SheDecides initiative and the FP2020 Summit in July 2017. Norway has strengthened its SRHR policies over the past years, such as adopting the Action Plan for Women's Rights and Gender Equality in Foreign and Development Policy (2016), the Humanitarian Strategy (2018), the Action plan on Women, Peace and Security (2019), and the Strategy to Eliminate Harmful Practices (2019). In 2021, the Norwegian government adopted 16 Partner Country strategies for bilateral development cooperation for 2021 - 2023. All of them emphazise the importance of women´s participation and gender equality, and in some SRHR is mentioned as an element in achieving this.

    During the Nairobi Summit in 2019, Norway made great financial and political commitments to SRHR, including 9,6 billion NOK (€ 1 billion) to SRHR in 2020-2026, 760 million (€ 76 million) to eliminate harmful practices in 2020-2023, and 1 billion NOK (€100 million) to prevention of GBV/SGBV in humanitarian crises for 2019-2021. Finally, Norway committed to increase the percentage of bilateral development assistance that has women's rights and gender equality as a primary or significant goal from 33% to 50%. In June 2021, Norway reaffirmed its commitments to SRHR during the Generation Equality Forum (GEF) by committing to the Action Coalition on Bodily Autonomy and Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR), however no new financial commitments were made.

    Despite the financial commitments made to SRHR during the Nairobi Summit in 2019, Norway allocated slightly less funds to SRHR in 2020, than in the previous years 2018 and 2019, amounting to €187 million, in line with the C2030E methodology, of which €133 million were allocated to SRH/FP. The Norwegian Minister of International Development, Anne Beathe Tvinnereim confirmed this in November 2021 stating that Norway is currently lagging behind with 250 million NOK (€25 million)  in order to be on track to fulfil the commitments made in Nairobi. Tvinnereim confirmed that the new government will work to close this gap in the upcoming years. In addition, Tvinnereim announced that a new Action Plan on Women's Rights and Gender Equality in Foreign and Development Policy will be adopted in 2022, where SRHR is expected to be one of the priority areas.

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    Internationally vocal

    Norway has made it clear that global health, gender equality and SRHR are key priorities in the Norwegian foreign and development policies, and that a gender transformative perspective must be ensured in the global COVID-19 response. The fight of infectious diseases is another ODA priority for the Norwegian government, by contributing to financing, development and equal distribution of vaccines and other health technologies that the market does not deliver alone.

    In August 2020, Norway appointed a special advisor on global health, Dr. John-Arne Røttingen. He is already coordinating the World Health Organization's international collaborative study on the effects of treatments for COVID-19. Mr. Røttingen will have the full global health portfolio as his responsibility, although COVID-19 is likely to be a main focus.

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    • Key Documents


    Updated January 2022

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