[assistance] Church Aid and the Red Cross can now provide more humanitarian aid for less money. The reason is that the Norwegian krone is facing a strong dollar against both the dollar and the euro at the moment, with ten percent more dollars for the krone now compared to February. As the agreements are made in Norwegian kroner, this leads to significantly more help for the money for the humanitarian organizations.
- We get more money available, and this has a greater effect the larger share of the funds used locally, says Tore Martin Herland in the finance department of Norwegian Church Aid.
However, he cannot quantify this specifically.
- Are you wondering about this – what time is it wise to start projects outside?
- We have an ongoing dialogue with the bank about when it is beneficial to buy dollars, but what we do and at what time, is based on the needs abroad, says Herland.
The Red Cross also confirms that a strong Norwegian krone is good.
- But there must be lasting changes if it is to have a great effect, says Jon Anders Storstein, section leader in the resources section in the Emergency Preparedness and Foreign Affairs Department at the Red Cross.
He says the most important currency for them is Swiss francs and local currencies.
"Strengthening against the dollar, for example, makes a good difference for us in Latin America," he says.
Arve Ofstad heads the department of governance and social economy in Norad and says that all grants are given in Norwegian kroner.
- This means that they work longer now and that means we can buy more in other countries. It also affects the payments to international consultants, and when we pay salaries.
- What happens to the profit?
- Then we have two alternatives. Either look at other projects or transfer money to next year, says Ofstad.
He says ten percent is not the whole world, but that it helps.
- In any case, there is a lot of uncertainty in development assistance. Projects cost more, suddenly there is a downpour that destroys what has been built up, says Ofstad.
Norway grants NOK 18 billion a year over the state budget in aid. In addition, the efforts of the voluntary organizations come.