The Norwegian government will submit a proposal to the Storting for an additional development assistance allocation of €38 million (300 million NOK) for the victims of natural disasters. The main share would be earmarked for those affected by the disasters in Pakistan and Central America.
12/10/2005 :: “The magnitude of last week’s natural disasters has made a deep impression on us all. Norway attaches great importance to meeting the humanitarian needs as quickly as possible. We will therefore request the Storting to make an additional allocation so that the many victims can be helped. We are particularly concerned about the critical situation in Pakistan,” said Minister of International Development Hilde F. Johnson.
So far the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has made €2,35 million (NOK 18.4 million) available for emergency relief for the victims of the earthquake in South Asia and the victims of the flooding and landslides in Central America.
Earlier this week the European Commission formally adopted its fast track humanitarian decision for €3 million to provide urgent assistance to the victims of the South Asia earthquake. In addition €600,000 has been earmarked from funds already available. 1.7 million Euros are being provided by the European Commission to alleviate the suffering of more than 30,000 people affected by natural disasters in El Salvador and Guatemala.
Some of the new Norwegian funds could however go to other acute crises. “We must not forget the victims that are outside the media spotlight, such as the many people in Africa who are suffering from chronic food shortages due to failed harvests. They will also benefit from the additional allocation,” said the Minster.
It is proposed that the disaster assistance should be channelled through the UN, the Red Cross system and NGOs. The Foreign Ministry in Oslo has maintained close contact with these organisations since the disasters occurred.