Nordic church leaders call on governments to stop using aid to fund global goods
In an increasingly fragile world, where billions are facing conflict, increased poverty, food insecurity and climate disaster, we urge the Nordic countries to be champions of joint and bold action for global solidarity and sustainability.
We as Nordic members of ACT Alliance, the world’s largest network of faith-based humanitarian actors, are deeply concerned about the multiple crises facing us all but hitting the most vulnerable people in the world the hardest. The number of people in need of development and humanitarian aid is the highest since World War 2. Moreover, the increased pressure on human rights, gender equality, and democracy in many countries are worsening the situation.
We urge the Nordic countries to strengthen their cooperation and unite to champion and protect values such as human rights, democracy, equality, and inclusion; values that are strong in the Nordic region but are under immense pressure globally.
We call for the Nordic countries to be brave and innovative, and to gather around concrete, joint actions to protect these values. The Nordic countries are already deeply committed to human rights, democracy, and sustainability, but increased joint action is needed. A rules-based, international world order, supporting human rights, accountability, and multilateral cooperation, is essential to uphold for all countries, including the Nordics.
We urge the Nordic countries to uphold high commitment to development and humanitarian aid, ensuring that official development assistance is of high quality, predictable and with a strong commitment of leaving no-one behind in recognition of the Sustainable Development Goals. We urge the Nordic countries to ensure that global common goods, such as vaccines, domestic refugee costs and climate financing are funded from other additional sources - and not from the aid budgets. Rich countries must be innovative in securing diversity in funding to handle national and global crises, focusing on engaging the private sector. Otherwise, the Global Sustainability Goals will not be met.
Dagfinn Høybråten, Secretary General, Norwegian Church Aid
Birgitte Qvist-Sørensen, Secretary General, Dan Church Aid
Erik Lysén, Director of ACT Church of Sweden
Bjarni Gíslason, Head of Icelandic Church Aid
Jouni Hemberg, Executive Director, Finn Church Aid