(Photo by NTB Kommunikasjon/Statsministerens kontor)
Norway will increase its support to Ukraine by NOK 10 billion over the next two years. The funding will be used for humanitarian assistance and reconstruction efforts in the country, and to provide weapons and budget support to the Ukrainian government administration. ‘We stand together with the Ukrainian people,’ said Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre.
‘Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has created the worst crisis in Europe since the Second World War and is having a devastating effect on the Ukrainian people, who are completely dependent on external support. The invasion also poses a threat to European security. Norway is doing its part to support the Ukrainian people’s fight for freedom. They are fighting to defend not only their own country, but also our democratic values,’ said Mr Støre.
Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine is having a crippling impact on the Ukrainian economy. According to the World Bank, Ukraine’s GDP is expected to fall by 30–50 % in 2022. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) estimates Ukraine’s near-term financial needs to be USD 5 billion, or nearly NOK 49 billion, per month.
‘The war is taking a tremendous toll in both humanitarian and economic terms. Norway will provide budget support to the Ukrainian government administration so that it can deliver services to the Ukrainian people. This will help to promote stability and prevent even more people from being forced to flee. So far some 4.8 million people have left Ukraine, and another 7.1 million have been internally displaced. Norway will also provide humanitarian assistance in order to protect civilians and alleviate suffering. In this critical situation, it is our duty to do what we can to assist those hit the hardest by the war,’ said Minister of Foreign Affairs Anniken Huitfeldt.
According to EU estimates, the costs of reconstruction and long-term assistance will be in the trillions. These estimates will change depending on the duration of the war and the scale of destruction. Support to Ukraine must therefore be flexible, and a substantial part of the Norwegian contribution will be made available this year. This funding will be used for humanitarian assistance, budget support to the Ukrainian government administration, reconstruction efforts and weapons.
‘Ukraine is known as the breadbasket of Europe and plays a vital role in the global food supply. Under normal circumstances, Ukraine produces enough food for roughly 400 million people. Maintaining food production and harvesting activity is essential to prevent local, national and global food insecurity. Alternative trade routes must be enhanced to keep markets open and stabilise food prices,’ said Minister of International Development Anne Beathe Tvinnereim.
In addition to its enormous humanitarian needs, Ukraine is in need of support to maintain critical government services and infrastructure. The war is still ongoing and it is still too early to say when reconstruction efforts can begin. There is also a need for support to ensure continued supplies of energy and gas for heating, food, medicines and other basic items.
Norway is working together with like-minded countries and multilateral organisations to support the efforts to modernise and reform the Ukrainian government administration. Funding provided to Ukraine will be channelled through established, internationally recognised organisations.
‘Norway supports Ukraine’s right to choose its own path. Together with our partners, the Norwegian Government will support reforms designed to increase Ukraine’s integration into Euro-Atlantic structures. Norway will seek effective, joint European solutions where possible, as this is in our interests as well,’ said Prime Minister Støre.
A significant proportion of the funding provided by Norway will be used for weapons and military equipment and supplies. Here, too, Norway will consider joint solutions with its allies and European partners.
‘We must maintain our support to Ukraine in its ongoing fight for freedom and independence. The Ukrainian forces need Western support in the form of military equipment and weapons in order to resist the Russian attacks. In the short term, it is critical to ensure that Ukraine has ammunition for the weapons systems already delivered. More weapons are needed as well. Norway and the UK are cooperating on the donation of long-range MLRS rocket artillery systems to Ukraine,’ said Minister of Defence Bjørn Arild Gram.
Norway has agreed to donate three MLRS (Multiple Launch Rocket System) vehicles.
Facts about Norwegian support
The Government has proposed to allocate EUR 1 billion, roughly NOK 10 billion at current exchange rates, in support to Ukraine to be distributed over 2022 and 2023. A significant proportion of this funding will be made available this year.
The support provided by Norway for 2022 will come in addition to the aid budget in the revised national budget approved by the Storting.
So far this year, Norway has provided approximately NOK 2.1 billion in support to Ukraine and its neighbouring countries in response to Russia’s military aggression. This includes funding for humanitarian assistance, support to the refugee response in neighbouring countries, budget support to the Ukrainian government administration, and support to Ukrainian farmers.
Norway is the third largest contributor to the World Bank multi-donor trust fund for Ukraine, after the US and the UK.
In addition to this funding, Norway has donated anti-tank weapons, protective gear, an air defence system, howitzer artillery vehicles and more. Norway is also cooperating with the UK on the donation of long-range MLRS rocket artillery systems to Ukraine and has pledged to contribute to a fund established to coordinate acquisition of military equipment for Ukraine.