By: LIZBETH ANN A. ABELLA
BASEY,Samar- Heeding to an appeal by the United Nations for continuous help to the typhoon -ravage Philippines, the Norwegian government has pledge to donate an additional $ 8 million dollars.
The new fresh aid had made Norway the third-biggest donors among the countries that extended financial assistance to the country. With the $ 8million, Norway’s total donation to the country has now reached to $43 million.
The new financial assistance to the country was announced by Borge Brende, Norway’s foreign minister who visited this town on January 10.
The Norwegian government believes that the first phase of dealing with the catastrophe is over and now is the time to move for early recovery phase where houses, school and livelihood should be rebuilt said Brende.
“We know that fishermen lost their boats, farmers lost their harvest and coconut farmers are in a very bad situation knowing that it will take a decade to grow those trees again” said Brende.
Brende revealed that their government has been very active in the emergency phase wherein they supported the Philippine government for the people to have clean water, they put up hospitals in coordination with international Red Cross, they coordinated with UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization to help farmers. The Norwegian government has also supported projects for the protection of women and children who are the most vulnerable, and in the early recovery they supported water and sanitation knowing that sanitation facilities were also damage by the typhoon.
Brende emphasized that their government wants to send a clear signal to the world that when their presence was felt in the emergency phase during catastrophe, they are also committed in rebuilding and they are hoping to build back better.
The Norwegian foreign affairs minister expressed his dismay that the second appeal of the UN for other countries to help Philippines only reach 40%, for their part the government has pledge an additional contribution of 8 million dollars making their total contribution to $43 million making their country the third biggest donor next to US and UK.
The Norwegian foreign affairs minister informed that the additional $ 8 million will be allocated to the best projects in building back better. Though he did not go into full details as to how the amount will be allocated for sure it is in support for the early recovery and the recovery phase he said.