Norway urges allies not to neglect developing world

AFP - [email protected]
Norway urges allies not to neglect developing world
Western countries should not neglect aid to the developing world, a Norwegian minister has said. Pictured is the Norwegian parliament. Photo by Marco Süssi on Unsplash

A Norwegian minister on Monday urged the West to increase international support to the developing world to counter growing influence from Russia and China.


Anne Beathe Tvinnereim, Norway's international development minister, told reporters that developing countries "need to see that they are not forgotten" as focus has turned to aid for Ukraine since the Russian invasion last year.

"We cannot risk ending up in a situation where developing countries feel that it is the West against the rest," she said.

"I think it's in Norwegian and Western interests to fight back (against) that polarisation with any means that we have, and development assistance is just one of many tools that we should use in that regard."


She underlined the importance of not allowing aid to Ukraine to detract from other crises, and emphasised the need to ensure global food security. Developing countries "did not choose to become part of a new scramble," she said, accusing some countries of "fuelling" distrust.

"I don't think it's any coincidence that (Russian Foreign Minister Sergei) Lavrov has made several trips to Africa," she said, also flagging "Chinese interest in Africa."

"That is just one example of why it's important that countries like Norway and like-minded countries do not withdraw, but rather increase our international support," she said.

Norway has earmarked a huge 75 billion kroner ($7.08 billion) in aid to Ukraine over five years. It has also allocated another five billion kroner this year to poor
countries affected by the conflict by challenges such as rising food costs.

But the country's centre-left government has been heavily criticised for breaking with tradition in its 2023 budget by allocating less than one percent of its gross national income to development aid. The figure for this year is expected to be 0.97 percent.

Tvinnereim attributed the relative reduction to large fluctuations in Norway's gross national income, which has suddenly surged due to rising oil
and gas prices. Norway is one of Europe's biggest suppliers of hydrocarbons.


Join the conversation in our comments section below. Share your own views and experience and if you have a question or suggestion for our journalists then email us at [email protected].
Please keep comments civil, constructive and on topic – and make sure to read our terms of use before getting involved.

Please log in to leave a comment.

See Also