At a meeting on Friday March 6, the ministers for Nordic co-operation agreed to spend a further DKK 14 million on Iceland over a two-year period. The main purpose of the extra grant is to guarantee that Icelanders will be able to attend Nordic meetings but scholarships will also be made available for researchers and students to travel to other Nordic countries. "For example, it is particularly important that Icelandic researchers and youngsters are able to continue to play their part in Nordic exchange programmes," the ministers stressed after their meeting in Copenhagen. An information campaign will inform Icelanders about Nordic funding sources such as NORA, NICe, NOPEF and NIB.

The Nordic countries have already helped their Icelandic neighbours by supporting applications for loans from the International Monetary Fund (IMF). "However, we recognise that more has to be done and that tangible actions are needed to support Iceland in the difficult situation that has arisen," the ministers said. It is particularly important that new students and those already working and studying in other Nordic countries are able to continue doing so," they added.

The meeting was chaired by Kolbrún Halldórsdóttir from Iceland, which holds the Presidency of the Nordic Council of Ministers 2009.

Further information about the Icelandic Presidency of the Nordic Council of Ministers 2009, please visit this site.

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Michael Funch