Freeze in Norwegian aid, narrow space for Børge Brende’s priorities

The spin doctors at the Foreign Ministry have put a positive twist on next year’s aid budget by comparing it with status three years ago. But the fact is that the budget proposal for 2017 represents a freeze on almost all budget lines. The few areas receiving more cash include administration, education and some fragile states, taking into account the “new security policy environment and migration challenges.” 

Sida’s humanitarian NGO aid is untied. Other Nordics favour national channels

The norm among Nordic donors is to reserve the lion’s share of humanitarian NGO funding for their own national organisations. Sweden takes a different approach, allocating half their funding to non-Swedish actors like Oxfam, Norwegian Refugee Council and Action Contre la Faim. The Swedes hold up the neutrality principle; the other Nordic donors argue that they tie their aid because this is a more efficient way of distributing emergency relief.

Norad refused to pay hefty day rates for former US politician Henry Waxman

The Norwegian aid agency has refused to pay exorbitant rates - USD 12,000 for three days of work - for the services of retired US Congressman Henry Waxman as part of an aid-financed climate forest consultancy contract.

Sweden’s 2017 aid budget aligned with UN Security Council agenda

Sweden aims to keep its aid at a high level next year, and aligns development and climate engagements with the UN Security Council agenda.

MSF’s global reach. Finland is next

The medical humanitarian organisation Médecins Sans Frontières(MSF) plans to open a branch in Finland. The new MSF office will facilitate recruitment of personnel to field operations and manage fund raising in Finland. 

Global Fund raises USD 13b for next five-year period

In its fifth replenishment, hosted by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in Montréal, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria reached a total of USD 12.91 billion. 

Donors to demand refund from Zambian farmers’ union

Sweden, Finland and the Swedish NGO We Effect are aligning their demands for reimbursement of misused aid from the Zambian National Farmers’ Union.

IFU grows fast despite small capital injections

Solid profit and a more flexible mandate have allowed Denmark’s aid-funded risk capital fund IFU to expand. This year it aims for the DKK 1 billion mark.

Investigation into Agua Zarca

An investigation of the Agua Zarca hydro project in Honduras, concludes that FMO and the Finnish B-lender Finnfund need to improve their mechanisms for handling indigenous people’s rights and Free Prior and Informed Consent.  

Former PM Stoltenberg’s legacy, in his own words

In Jens Stoltenberg’s autobiography, Min historie (Gyldendal, 2016), the former Norwegian Prime Minister writes about his political life, describing key initiatives he took that have had international ramifications.

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