Norway to increase its aid to Haiti following the earthquake

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Norwegian aid to the earthquake victims in Haiti is to be increased to NOK 100 million (USD 17.5 millon).

"I am deeply saddened by the extremely difficult situation in Haiti. Although aid is flowing into the country, the needs will continue to be great in the weeks and months ahead," said Minister of the Environment and International Development Erik Solheim.

The UN has assessed the immediate requirements, and is asking the international community to provide USD 560 million. See the UN's flash appeal for Haiti here.

"The UN has made it quite plain that Haiti needs our help. We are therefore increasing the Norwegian contribution to aid efforts to NOK 100 million (USD 17.5 millon)," Mr Solheim said.

It is important to support the UN's coordinating role in Haiti, as well as the work the UN is doing to save lives and help survivors. Norway attaches particular importance to helping women and children.

"Haiti will need support for its reconstruction efforts for a long time to come. We must also remember that this earthquake is the worst disaster ever confronted by the UN," Mr Solheim commented.

Experience from the earthquake in Pakistan and the Indian Ocean tsunami made it clear that we must continue to show solidarity and maintain our focus on these areas after the television cameras have gone.

"I will therefore consider how we can help to support Haiti after the acute emergency relief phase is over," said Mr Solheim.

Norway has already provided NOK 40 million (USD 7 million) for immediate relief efforts. The additional aid will, for instance, be channelled to the World Food Programme (WFP), the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), and Médecins Sans Frontières. Some of it will also be used to fund relief efforts through the UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF), where one fifth of the funding is provided by Norway.

Press contact: Information adviser Ragnhild H. Simenstad, mobile phone: 917 17 459.