Norway’s new conservative government intends to cut the number of countries to which Norway extends foreign aid. Critics called it “a nasty Christmas gift” when news broke of the reduction during the holidays.
Foreign Minister Børge Brende revealed the cut in the number of countries during an interview with state broadcaster NRK just before Christmas Eve. He wouldn’t identify which countries won’t get aid anymore, but claimed the government wanted to focus on those that still would.
He also claimed the total amount of Norwegian foreign aid wouldn’t decline. Critics at umbrella organization Digni were quick to blast the prospective reduction in the number of countries, but it comes as no surprise. The government’s platform declared it would evaluate existing foreign aid and cooperation agreements, with the goal of reducing the number of recipients in return for better concentrating resources on others.
A ministry spokesman said it would identify which countries will need to prepare for less aid in the course of next year.