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Norway increases Tsunami Aid to 133,5 million euros

Norway has increased its government-backed aid to the tsunami victims of South East Asia more than 10 fold by adding 1 billion NOK to the 100 million NOK already pledged. This raises Norway's official aid to the tsunami victims to 1.1 billion NOK, or about 133,5 million euros ($179 million). The additional funds will not affect other parts of the international development budget or the budget of other ministries.

“The humanitarian needs are enormous. We therefore wish to grant an additional NOK 1 billion in fresh funds both for immediate disaster relief and for reconstruction in the areas that have been affected by the tsunami. We will give priority to the areas that are most affected and where Norway is in a particularly good position to help,” said Minister of International Development Hilde F. Johnson.

Owing to the Norwegian involvement in the peace process in Sri Lanka, and our contacts with Tamil organisations, Norway is also in a position to contribute to the local relief efforts in the LTTE controlled areas in the north and east of the country.

New meeting with humanitarian organisations

Tuesday the International Development Minister met with 16 humanitarian organisations and other relevant actors involved in the disaster relief work following the natural disaster in South East Asia to discuss further Norwegian humanitarian assistance.

Norwegian citizens have opened their pocket books generously as individuals as well, and Norwegian non-governmental aid organizations are experiencing a surge in donations for the tsunami victims. “I am extremely pleased by the voluntary contributions that the Norwegian people have already made. Still, I hope and believe that this amount will increase in the days to come, because all the support that can be mobilised is needed,” said the Minister.

The increase was announced by Norwegian Prime Minister Kjell Magne Bondevik at a January 3 press conference. With a population of 4.5 million, the official aid now represents $40 for every person living in Norway.

Like the population in the Member States of the European Union, Norwegians will observe three minutes of silence Wednesday 5 January in order to show solidarity and mourn the victims of the disaster. Relative to their size, the Nordic countries have all been hit hard by the tsunami catastrophe. Thailand is a popular holiday resort and thousands of Scandinavians were spending their Christmas break in the country. The prime ministers of Sweden, Norway and Finland are planning a joint visit to Thailand beginning 16 January.


 

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An 8.9 magnitude earthquake on the seafloor of northern Indonesia generated the tsunami wave which hit the coasts of Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Myanmar, India, Sri Lanka, Maldives and even Somalia

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