The Norwegian government has defined health, education, private sector and job-creation, climate and renewable energy together with humanitarian support, as their main priority areas within official development aid. This was confirmed in the White paper, 'Meld. St. 24 2016-2017 Felles ansvar for felles fremtid', that was approved in Parliament in June 2017. Further the White paper defines SRHR as a central component of the support to health, and the action plan on women’s rights and gender equality in foreign and development policy, launched in 2016, sets SRHR as one of five objectives.
With an increase in funding and priority of humanitarian aid, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs developed a new Humanitarian Strategy which was launched in 2018. For the first time an increased priority of sexual and reproductive health services in crisis is acknowledged. This confirms a priority of SRHR both within long term development and humanitarian aid.
Parliamentary elections were held in 2017 and resulted in the governing parties continuing in power, but with a smaller majority than in previous period. A new Minister of Foreign Affairs was appointed, Ine Eriksen Søreide, from the Conservative party and the first women to take on this role. In January 2018 the Liberal Party (V) decided to join the government and the three parties, The Conservative Party (H), The Progressive Party (Frp) and The Liberal Party (V) developed a joint policy platform. The same priorities for international development aid was kept. The position of Minister for International Development was reinstated, after 4 years of absence, and Nikolai Astrup from the Conservative Party (H) was appointed Minister.
Policies & funding
Norway has stepped up the support to 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 seen a strengthening of the SRHR policy over the past two years, with both the action plan on women’s rights and gender equality, the White Paper on development, Meld. St. 24, defining SRHR as an important objective, and the recent Humanitarian Strategy including a priority of SRH. In 2017, Norway disbursed NOK 1.4 billion (€151.1 million) in SRH/FP funding, a 14% increase on 2016. Core funding to UNFPA remained stable at NOK 401 million (€42.4 million).
Norway’s commitment to work for sexual and reproductive health and rights both normatively and through development support, are grounded within the White Paper on equal rights, the action plan on women’s rights, the White Paper on development, and the Humanitarian Strategy. These outline the importance of SRHR and Norway’s particular commitment to work for the international acceptance of sexual rights and access to family planning.
2018 was the third year of Norwegian funding to the Global Financing Facility (GFF) in support of the UN strategy on Women, Children and Adolescent Health. The GFF is presented as the major new Norwegian commitment to global health system strengthening and SRHR, with an annual commitment of NOK 600 million until 2020. This is partly including the FP2020 commitment. Norway has further committed to an increase of 85 million USD to SRHR over four years, 2017-2020. This includes an increase in core-support to UNFPA, funding to UNFPA Supplies and increase to international SRHR organisations. Norway is thus back as a contributor to UNFPA Supplies, which they had not funded since 2014. UNFPA support is at a record level of 500 million NOK for 2018.
Norway’s continues its high political and public support for SRH/FP. In 2012, Norway was one of many donors committing to Family Planning 2020 (FP2020), with a promise of contributing NOK 150 million (approximately 15 million Euros) annually. Norway’s strong commitment to family planning was reiterated at several occasions in more recent years, including at the FP2020 Summit in London in July 2017. At the Summit Norway also promised to take the lead on comprehensive sexuality education and co-organised a conference on the topic with UNFPA in Oslo end of 2017.
- Norway’s Humanitarian Strategy: An effective and integrated approach (2018).
- White Paper on development and the sustainable development goals, Meld. St. 24 2016-2017 (2017).
- Action-plan on Women’s rights and gender equality within the foreign policy, “Freedom, Empowerment and Opportunities”, which defines SRHR as one of five main target areas (2016)
Updated January 2019
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