Allocation of NOK 200 mln (~22,5 mln eur) to poor countries affected by the financial crisis.

The Norwegian Government proposes an additional allocation for countries that are least equipped to meet the financial crisis.

In the Revised National Budget, the Government proposes an allocation of NOK 200 million (~22,5 mln eur) to address the negative consequences of the financial crisis in poor countries. These funds will be channelled via the development budget to the countries that are most poorly equipped to meet the crisis.

“It is the rich countries that have created the financial crisis,” commented Minister of the Environment and International Development Erik Solheim. “As a result, up to 90 million people may be plunged into poverty this year. These funds will be used to help those who are in most need.”

According to the World Bank, Africa will be hardest hit by the financial crisis. Norway’s funding will also be used to support particularly vulnerable groups such as refugees and internally displaced persons.

“Unemployment and additional pressure on states that are already weak will primarily affect the most vulnerable, such as displaced people and refugees,” said Minister of Foreign Affairs Jonas Gahr Støre. “This could lead to unrest and threaten stability in vulnerable countries that are emerging from conflict.”

The allocation will be distributed as follows:

• NOK 60 million to countries in Africa.
• NOK 50 million to the World Bank’s efforts to address the financial crisis in poor countries.
• NOK 40 million to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
• NOK 30 million to the International Labour Organisation (ILO).
• NOK 20 million to the World Food Programme.

In addition, the Government will increase its funding to UNICEF by NOK 50 million to a total of NOK 450 million.