The situation in the typhoon-hit areas of the Philippines is critical. According to UN reports, four million people have been forced to flee their homes and one million houses have been damaged or completely destroyed.
“We want to help alleviate the suffering that children, women and men in the affected areas of the Philippines are now experiencing. The Government is making a further NOK 20 million available now, and we have also decided to request the Storting to make an additional allocation of NOK 120 million to the relief effort,” said Prime Minister Erna Solberg.
The funds will be used to provide food, water, sanitation, health care and shelter and to meet other needs identified by the Philippine authorities and the UN. In addition to providing funding for UN efforts, the Government is supporting emergency relief work carried out by Caritas, Save the Children Norway and the International Committee of the Red Cross, which were already working in the affected areas before the typhoon hit, and were therefore able to begin relief efforts immediately. Norway is also providing personnel and equipment through the Norwegian Directorate for Civil Protection, the Norwegian Refugee Council’s emergency standby roster (NORCAP) and the Norwegian Emergency Preparedness System (NOREPS).
“The needs are immense and a huge effort is being made by a wide range of actors. However, it is a problem that the emergency relief is not reaching those who need it quickly enough. Therefore, as well as making more funding available for food, water, healthcare supplies and other emergency measures, the Government will give priority to strengthening the management and coordination of the relief efforts,” said Minister of Foreign Affairs Børge Brende.
In crisis situations, women and children are particularly vulnerable to violence and abuse. The Government will give priority to support Children and Gender Protection efforts, and has supported the deployment of such experts to the crisis-hit areas.