The Red-Green Norwegian government that took office this week has launched a radical new aid policy. It believes strongly in the public sector and states that Norwegian aid is not going to support programmes demanding liberalisation and privatisation. In multilateral aid, UN agencies will be given priority at the expense of the World Bank. The government also explicitly makes the decriminalisation of abortion a main goal of its aid policy.
Just before she resigned Development Minister Hilde Frafjord Johnson delivered her last budget proposal. She substantially increased budget frames for most main cooperation countries, but cut funding to Uganda and Nepal.
Danish Development Minister Ulla Tørnæs faces a very tight programme later this month when she visits the three African countries short-listed as candidates to become the new priority recipients of Danish aid.
Six European donors have pledged USD 170 million for a proposed new fund to be set up under the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), which is headed by the Norwegian diplomat Jan Egeland. (See DT 12/05)