Norway is now entering into a four-year agreement with the World Food Programme (WFP) on the provision of a total of NOK 1.6 billion in funding.
‘The Norwegian Government is increasing its focus on food security. This agreement reflects Norway’s strong support for WFP’s vital work. The rise in hunger and increasing food shortages worldwide are deeply worrying,’ said Minister of Foreign Affairs Anniken Huitfeldt.
Under the four-year agreement, Norway will provide NOK 400 million annually in the form of core funding. This means that WFP can target this funding towards the activities it considers to be most important and towards humanitarian crisis response, where humanitarian needs are greatest. In addition to core funding, Norway also provides support to WFP every year for humanitarian efforts at country level.
There has been a huge increase in food insecurity and hunger across the globe. According to the UN, more than 800 million people are suffering from hunger and undernourishment. Some 283 million people in 80 countries are now acutely food insecure, while 45 million people in 43 countries are on the brink of famine.
‘This is an extremely dramatic development. We must address the causes, in particular climate change and conflict. For this reason, we have made food security and the fight against hunger a priority area in our development policy. We will promote small-scale food production and climate-smart agriculture. We will also improve coordination of humanitarian action and long-term development efforts,’ said Minister of International Development Anne Beathe Tvinnereim.
The situation in the most vulnerable countries, in particular Afghanistan, Ethiopia and Yemen, is deteriorating rapidly. There are also areas in South Sudan and Madagascar that are now experiencing full-blown famine. Millions of people will go hungry during the coming winter months unless humanitarian efforts are significantly stepped up.
These hunger crises are primarily caused by conflict. The economic downturn due to the Covid-19 pandemic and extreme weather caused by climate change are other key factors driving the rise in food insecurity. Refugees and internally displaced people are especially vulnerable. The situation is expected to deteriorate further in 2022 and 2023.