The magazine Bistandsaktuelt who have mapped the extent of Norwegian development assistance over the past 50 years. The total amount has reached 516 billion NOK, equivalent to half annual budget of the country.
– The aid money has made Norway a more important player in international politics, helped to gain allies and be a door opener for Norwegian industry, says Østerud.
Senior Researcher at Chr Michelsen Institute, Gunnar M. Sørbø disagrees that Norwegian industry has benefited greatly from the Norwegian assistance.
– Many states – including neighboring countries like Denmark – have been far more cynical and eager to secure contracts for their own business in return for their aids, says Sørbø.
He however agreed that Norway’s reputation as a humanitarian peace force, and as a rich country with great power interests, may have helped Norway to get a stronger voice internationally and to open doors.
African Countries Lead
According to magazine’s report, Tanzania tops the list of the 158 countries that have received Norwegian funds. The country has received 25 billion NOK from Norway so far. Mozambique follows Tanzania with 15.1 billion NOK and Zambia comes in the third place with 12.3 billion NOK aid.