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Norway to Decide on Use of Leftover Refugee Funds in October

© AFP 2021 / CORNELIUS POPPE / NTB SCANPIXMigrants receive instructions from a Norwegian police officer at Storskog boarder crossing station near Kirkenes, after crossing the boarder between Norway and Russia on November 16, 2015
Migrants receive instructions from a Norwegian police officer at Storskog boarder crossing station near Kirkenes, after crossing the boarder between Norway and Russia on November 16, 2015 - Sputnik International
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Norway’s Finance Ministry will decide on how to use the spare money left from previously allocated funds for dealing with the influx of migrants in October, with specific proposals to be submitted to the parliament, ministry spokeswoman Eva Karin Dahle Rabben told Sputnik on Tuesday.

Asylum seekers gather round a fire as they cook a meal overlooking the temporary Altnes camp refugee camp on the island of Seiland, northern Norway (File) - Sputnik International
Leftover Refugee Money Putting Norway's Political Parties at Loggerheads
MOSCOW (Sputnik) Following the revision by Norway's Directorate of Immigration (UDI) of the number of refugees that may come to the country this year down to a third from previously estimated 33,000 people, this week several Norwegian political parties suggested also reviewing the use of money for migrants-related purposes left unused.

"The Government's budgetary prioritizations, including those pertaining to international aid and refugees, are included in the annual Budget Proposals. The Budget Proposal for fiscal 2017 is due to be submitted before the Storting [parliament] in October," the spokeswoman said.

Last summer, when Norway faced a peak in migrant numbers, UDI forecast another 33,000 asylum seekers in 2016 in addition to over 31,000 that came in 2015. Thus the government allocated 9.5 billion krones (about $1.12 billion) to deal with the influx, with a little less than a half from this sum being derived from the international aid budget.

Currently, some lawmakers are proposing to return the money to international long-term aid and relief efforts in poor countries. Others politicians, Foreign Minister Borge Brende among them, suggest that money be spent on elderly care in Norway, arguing that Oslo has already been very generous in terms of aid to poor countries and fragile states.

In 2015, Norway provided over 34 billion krones to poor countries, even slightly exceeding the UN global target of providing above 0.7 percent of GDP to international aid.

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