The Norwegian government has defined health, together with education and humanitarian support, as their main priority areas within official development aid. SRHR is one of five priority areas within the foreign policy on women’s rights and gender equality which was launched in September 2016. The next Parliamentarian election in Norway is in September 2017 and all parties are currently revising their political programmes.
Policies & funding
The White Paper on equal rights, that was launched in October 2015 defines the importance of SRHR and Norway’s particular commitment to work for the international acceptance of sexual rights and the right to abortion. In 2016 SRHR gained a stronger political momentum as it was included as one of five main pillars in the action-plan on women’s rights and gender equality launched on the 2nd of September. The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Børge Brende, also stated the need for continued support to SRHR in humanitarian crisis.
2016 is the first 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 SRHR, with an annual commitment of NOK 600 million until 2020. This will include the FP2020 commitment. Despite this, we see worrying trends of cuts in funding to targeted actors and interventions covering the more controversial parts of SRHR, in particular, safe and legal abortion and HIV prevention research.
Most of the UN organisations experienced cuts in 2016 and it is suggested this will remain the same for 2017. Funding for UNFPA for 2016 was reduced by NOK 30 million down to NOK 401,000,000 for 2016.
Norway’s high political and public support for RH/FP continues. In 2012, Norway was one of many donors committing to the new initiative Family Planning 2020 (FP2020), with a promise of contributing 150 million Norwegian kroner (approximately 16 million Euros) annually. Norway’s strong commitment to family planning was reiterated at a conference held on May 10, 2016 at the Norwegian Parliament, ‘Taking stock midway of the Family Planning 2020 Initiative’.
- An action-plan on Women’s rights and gender equality within the foreign policy was launched in September. This defines SRHR as one of five main target areas.
- A White Paper on Development and the Sustainable Development Goals is forthcoming in 2017. Public engagement around this is about to start.
Updated October 2016
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