Two Nordic donors from opposite ends of the political spectrum, both with aid levels of 1 per cent of GNI.
In Sweden, the Conservative Gunilla Carlsson holds the aid portfolio. In Norway, Socialist Left Erik Solheim has one hand on the wheel. What are the main differences in their approaches?
In the buget proposition for next year, the Norwegian government reaches an aid level 1 per cent of GNI. It does so at the expense of traditional aid to poor countries in Africa, which receive almost no increase. Fresh money is spent mostly on forest climate initiatives and refugees at home.
Forestry experts worry that Norwegian forest carbon aid can undermine the rights of already marginalised forest-dependent peoples, and trigger a global land grab. Development Minister Erik Solheim rejects the notion of making recognition of indigenous people’s rights to forests a condition of forest aid.
With the UN’s emergency fund approaching the end of its third year, UN humanitarian chief John Holmes laments that a small group of donors continues to supply most of the money. Just this month, the US made a first, small contribution to the fund.