Norway increases humanitarian support to Nepal

'The earthquakes in Nepal destroyed half a million homes. There will be a huge need for support for reconstruction for a long time to come. We are now increasing Norway's support to Nepal to a total of NOK 230 million,' said Minister of Foreign Affairs Børge Brende.

Mr Brende announced an additional contribution of NOK 100 million in humanitarian support from Norway at the International Conference on Nepal's Reconstruction in Kathmandu today. Norway has already provided NOK 130 million in emergency relief following the earthquakes in April and May, which affected eight million people. A great deal of aid has already reached Nepal, but 2.8 million people are still in need of humanitarian assistance.

'Large areas of Nepal are in ruins. The extent of the devastation is a powerful reminder of the importance of disaster risk reduction and emergency preparedness. The funds Norway is providing will in part be channelled to measures to increase people's resilience in the event of a future disaster,' said Mr Brende.

The additional funds for Nepal will be used for reconstruction efforts, with particular focus on food, health, education and protection. Vulnerable groups such as children and people with disabilities will be given priority.

'Over 8000 schools were destroyed in the earthquake. We will help the authorities to build new, safe schools, so that children and young people can quickly return to school and regain a sense of normality,' said Mr Brende.

Mr Brende emphasised how important it is that the Nepalese authorities are in charge of the reconstruction efforts, and that the work is carried out in close coordination with the UN and the international community.

'We must not forget that local communities in the affected areas, and young people in particular, have pulled together in a huge voluntary effort to help each other,' said Mr Brende.

Norway has been engaged in close development cooperation with Nepal for many years. In his meetings with the Nepalese Prime Minister and various ministers, Mr Brende stressed that Norway will continue its long-term development assistance to Nepal, with particular emphasis on education, energy and good governance.

Press contact: Astrid Sehl, mobile phone +47 922 84 752, email: (accompanying the Foreign Minister).

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