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Norwegian policy on the prevention of humanitarian crises

Source: Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Humanitarian crises are increasing in number and scale, and they are also becoming more complex. In the period from 1990 to 2005, bilateral humani­tarian assistance worldwide was increased by a factor of five – from USD 1.4 billion to USD 7.1 bil­lion – according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Nor­way’s humanitarian assistance has also increased significantly in the same period – from around NOK 1 billion in 1990 to around NOK 4 billion today. But despite the size of the humanitarian bud­ gets, the resources available are insufficient to meet the dramatically growing needs. In the Gov­ernment’s view, Norwegian and international development efforts need to be reorganised in order to respond to the following risk factors:
•  The climate is changing
•  Settlement patterns are changing : By the end of 2007, more people will be living in urban than rural areas. Migration, urbanisation and the growth of slums in already vulnerable areas is increasing the risk of humanitarian crises.
•  The nature of crises is changing : Complex cri­ses are increasingly affecting countries where governance and administrative capacity are weak.

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