The floods in South Asia have driven millions of people from their homes and destroyed roads, buildings and large areas of cultivated land. In Bangladesh alone up to 35 million people are affected by flooding. At least a thousand people and large numbers of domestic animals are estimated to have died since the start of the rains in June.
Norway has allocated as much as NOK 10 million to emergency relief to flood victims in the three most seriously affected countries: Bangladesh, India and Nepal. The money has been channelled through the Norwegian Red Cross, Norwegian Church Aid and the World Food Programme, and is being spent on food, water, other basic necessities and boats for transporting the sick.
"Norway will consider giving further humanitarian assistance when the UN makes its appeal to help flood victims," said State Secretary, Deputy Foreign Minister Olav Kjørven.
The floods are wreaking untold damage, and further damage is expected before the monsoon season is over.
"The livelihoods of millions of people are literally being washed away, and long-term international assistance will be needed to repair the damage. Norway already has substantial commitments in Bangladesh and Nepal, and we must continue our efforts," said Mr Kjørven, and added that Norway will focus especially on prevention of natural disasters by helping to reduce the vulnerability of poor population groups.
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