Press release | Date: 2015-04-28 | Office of the Prime Minister| No: 61/2015
The Norwegian Government is providing an additional NOK 100 million to the relief effort in Nepal. ‘This means that Norway’s total support for the response to the earthquake disaster in Nepal comes to NOK 130 million. There is a huge need for assistance both in the short and the long term,’ said Prime Minister Erna Solberg. Together with Minister of Foreign Affairs Børge Brende, she met Norwegian NGOs who are involved in relief efforts in Nepal this afternoon.
The situation in Nepal in the wake of Saturday’s earthquake is still unclear. According to the UN, at least eight million people are in the areas affected. The numbers of those affected are expected to rise. Norway provided NOK 30 million for emergency relief on the day of the earthquake, and has today allocated an additional NOK 100 million.
‘Relief efforts are underway, although it has not been possible to gain a full overview of the situation in many places. It is difficult to map the situation and the need for assistance. It is important that the Nepalese authorities are given the opportunity to lead this work together with the UN. At the same time, we are aware that much of the immediate assistance is being provided by the local population and small organisations that are responding to the needs in their communities,’ said Ms Solberg.
‘Our most important task is to help to ensure that the international relief effort is effective. The Nepalese authorities and the UN must be in charge. The various actors taking part need knowledge about the country and need to prioritise their efforts in line with the population’s needs. We commend the Norwegian NGOs in Nepal for their rapid response and strong commitment to helping those affected,’ said Mr Brende.
According to UNICEF, at least one million children are in urgent need of help. In the days and weeks ahead, it is vital to normalise the everyday life of these children as far as possible. Access to schooling, a safe place to stay and psychosocial activities are all vital for children in a crisis situation. Some of Norway’s funding will therefore go to measures to protect children and provide them with schooling.
Norway is also providing assistance through the various standby rosters that we are part of, and through our cooperation with NGOs. Norway is one of the largest donors to the UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) and the Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC). At the UN’s request, Norway has sent experts with broad experience of humanitarian disasters to Nepal to support the UN organisations in this difficult situation. These experts have been deployed by the Norwegian Refugee Council’s standby roster, NORCAP.