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New alliance to create sustainable solutions for vulnerable populations in Africa

UNHCR/Samuel Otieno

A newly established alliance between the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Lego Foundation, Grundfos Foundation and Novo Nordisk Foundation will seek new ways of creating coordinated responses to achieve inclusive and lasting solutions in humanitarian settings. The first pioneering partnership will focus on refugee inclusion in Kenya in close collaboration with UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency.

When crises increase in both magnitude and complexity, there is a need for greater collaboration between public and private stakeholders. This is the thinking behind the new alliance between the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Lego Foundation, Grundfos Foundation and Novo Nordisk Foundation.

Drawing on their respective strengths and strategic priorities, the Ministry and the foundations will leverage their joint expertise to create innovative and sustainable initiatives within the humanitarian aid, development, and peace nexus. Focus will be on improving conditions within the key areas of health, education and water.

This provides a framework for activities where the Lego, Grundfos and Novo Nordisk foundations can bring their respective core competencies into action, creating synergies in close collaboration with governments, authorities, local partners as well as international organisations.

“By joining forces and exploring new ways of collaborating with multiple partners across public and private sectors, we can combine our strengths and create initiatives with high impact and lasting effect. This is crucial if we are going to improve the outlook for some of the world’s most vulnerable populations living in protracted humanitarian crises,” says Professor Mads Krogsgaard Thomsen, CEO of the Novo Nordisk Foundation.

Refugee inclusion in Kenya

The first pioneering initiative launched under the partnership focuses on Turkana County in Northern Kenya, home to the Kakuma refugee camp and Kalobeyei refugee settlement that host more than 250,000 refugees. Seeking to provide long-term and lasting solutions rather than short-term humanitarian support, the mission of the initiative is to make refugees and host communities more resilient through access to inclusive quality services within health, education and water. In addition, the ambition is to improve the refugees’ and host communities’ opportunities for self-reliance.

“Health needs are large and growing. At the same time the prevalence of non-communicable diseases is increasing and adding pressure on the health system. By strengthening capacity and access to quality integrated services and a more holistic model for service delivery, we aim to create better health outcomes for both refugees and host communities,” says Professor Flemming Konradsen, SVP, Social & Humanitarian, Novo Nordisk Foundation

Partnership with UNHCR

Within the health track of the Turkana initiative, the Novo Nordisk Foundation and Grundfos Foundation will both be contributing with know-how and technical expertise. UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, will be responsible for implementing the planned activities, for which the Novo Nordisk Foundation is supporting UNHCR with up to DKK 50 million for a three-year period.

The main focus of UNHCR’s activities will be to ensure access to improved and inclusive healthcare for refugees and local communities, including for non-communicable diseases (NCDs). This will be achieved by building the capacity of the health workforce and improving the health infrastructure, including by integrating NCD clinics into existing primary health facilities and improving access to basic Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) services.

“We are very pleased to launch this innovative and broad partnership. We need the involvement of everyone – also the private sector – to help find solutions for people forced to flee and the communities that generously host them. We appreciate the support of the Novo Nordisk Foundation and Grundfos Foundation, which will give refugees new opportunities and foster a sense of hope and belonging,” says Kelly T. Clements, UN Deputy High Commissioner for Refugees.

While the first initiative of the partnership between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the three foundations is focused on Kenya, the ambition is to look into applying similar multisector partnerships in other countries affected by protracted humanitarian crises.

Click here to see UNHCR’s announcement of the partnership.


Further Information

For press-related enquiries:

Nils Eskestad
Senior Corporate Writer, PhD
+45 30232904 [email protected]