Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Norway commits NOK 45 million to EIF to spur economic recovery in the LDCs

Norway's Ministry of Foreign Affairs is contributing NOK 45 million (CHF 4.8 million) to the Enhanced Integrated Framework (EIF) to support projects aimed at helping the world's poorest countries recover from the Covid-19 crisis. The new contribution was announced at the EIF's steering committee meeting today, attended by director-general Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and Norway's WTO ambassador Dagfinn Sørli.

"Through its generous contribution to the EIF, Norway is supporting LDCs in playing a more active role in international trade and helping their people to benefit from the higher incomes and better jobs that trade can bring," said Dr Okonjo-Iweala.

The world's poorest countries have been particularly hard hit by the Covid-19 crisis due to the fragility of their economies and to disruptions in trade flows caused by a variety of trade-restrictive measures implemented by governments.

"Norway is pleased that its substantial contribution to the EIF’s important work will help least-developed countries use trade as a tool for sustainable economic growth and poverty reduction," Ambassador Sørli said, adding that it is vital to help these countries overcome the enormous challenges, which the pandemic has exacerbated.

Since the Covid-19 pandemic started, the EIF and its country partners have adapted their projects to address pressing  needs, from strengthening nascent tourism sectors to building the e-commerce capabilities of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises and women-owned businesses, the EIF's executive director Ratnakar Adhikari said, thanking Norway for helping LDCs forge ahead with developing their trade capabilities.

Norway has been an EIF donor for 12 years. The latest contribution brings Norway's total EIF funding to NOK 345 million since the programme started in 2009.

The EIF's biannual steering committee serves as a forum for information exchange and a platform for LDC representatives, donors and development partners to provide guidance to ensure that the EIF can effectively deliver on its goals.

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