Minister Frafjord Johnson signaled a while ago that they, hereafter, should diminish the mixed credits. NHO (The Norwegian Confederation of Business & Industry) responded negatively to this, and we anticipate that the reactions partly to be the reason for the evaluations that now will be started.
The dilemma with the mixed credits is that one has the possibility to hit two birds with one stone, to contribute to attaining political goals concerning foreign aid while at the same time supporting Norwegian business. But thereby the temptation is often large to go through with projects that one should NOT support. Therefore, Norwegian aid money goes to projects that contribute to forcible dispacement of thousands of people and to the destruction of important environments. Or the mixed credits partly finance a map project that is questionable from a human rights point of view, as it puts East Timor inside the Indonesian borders.
Our experience with the mixed credits is not positive. We wish for a deal that does not channel aid money back to Norway through profit from firms that violate human rights and destroy the environment.
Norwatch Newsletter 14/99