“The humanitarian needs in the Philippines are huge, and it is crucial to provide assistance swiftly so that life-saving measures can begin to be implemented immediately,” said Minister of Foreign Affairs Børge Brende.
Mr Brende announced Norway’s additional contribution in connection with a meeting with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today. The funds are being allocated to live-saving aid provided by the UN, the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and other organisations participating in the coordinated relief effort.
“The UN, the Philippine authorities and the many volunteers are carrying out invaluable work to save lives and deliver food, water and medicines to those affected by the typhoon,” said Mr Brende.
“Norway’s contribution will also be used to provide the necessary personnel, expertise and equipment. We have already given assistance in the field of telecommunications. We are now considering the possibility of Norwegian ships in the area participating in the emergency relief efforts, in consultation with the Norwegian Shipowners’ Association,” Mr Brende said.
On Tuesday, the Philippine authorities, the UN and the largest NGOs launched the first appeal for funding. The UN is appealing for USD 301 million to provide urgently needed survival supplies, such as food, clean water, shelter and basic medicines, and to improve the logistics situation and clear debris after the typhoon. In addition, the International Red Cross system has appealed for around USD 100 million to help the Philippine Red Cross deliver essential relief. These efforts are being closely coordinated with those of the Philippine authorities and the UN.
“The needs are immense, and we will consider making additional contributions once we have a better overview of the situation,” said Mr Brende.
Five days after the devastating typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) hit the Philippines, the situation in the affected areas remains chaotic. It is estimated that around 11.3 million people have been affected by the typhoon, 670 000 have been forced to flee their homes, and 41 000 homes have been damaged or destroyed. The lack of infrastructure remains a major obstacle to the relief efforts and the work to assess the humanitarian needs.