Former Norwegian Development Minister Hilde Frafjord Johnson is among the favorites for the job of Executive Director of the Global Fund. The competition is described as an open race, but Frafjord Johnson is haunted by her lukewarm support for the Fund during her time as minister.
The five Nordic countries, including Iceland, overwhelmingly dominate the newly-established UN Peacebuilding Fund, providing almost half the money so far pledged or committed by the international community.
Despite 12 per cent growth in the aid pie, Development Minister Erik Solheim had to make some tough choices to make room for his key priorities in an aid budget where both the Foreign Minster and the Prime Minster claim their share. Norway is again raising the flag over its aid. The new budget confirms the grip of civil society, public players and the political elite on the aid budget. Norwegian business continues to be marginalised.
The new centre-right government in Sweden will keep aid at 1 per cent of Gross National Income (GNI). It will also expand funding of the Swedish risk capital fund Swedfund by SEK 1 billion over the next three years. But the government has provided few other figures about next year’s development aid budget.
Angola refused to join international standards for disclosing its oil revenues and transactions at the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) conference in Oslo recently. Angola wants to remain an observer at EITI, which has been established to set a global standard for revenue transparency in the oil, gas and mining sectors.