Norway contributes 40 million Norwegian kroners to relief operation in Haiti

09:47, January 15, 2010      

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The Norwegian government announced on Thursday to provide 40 million Norwegian kroners for relief operations in Haiti, a Caribbean island country which was hit by a devastating earthquake measuring 7.3 on the Richter scale on Tuesday afternoon.

In a press release issued on Thursday, Norwegian Prime Minister Yens Stoltenberg described the Haiti earthquake as "a humanitarian disaster striking a people living in poverty."

He said that it is now decisive to have a broad and coordinated international relief operation in Haiti and that the United Nations should play a central role in relief work.

The Norwegian Directorate for Civil Protection and Emergency Planning will establish a U.N. support camp in Haiti and Norway will also support U.N. efforts with Norwegian Refugee Council emergency personnel, said the prime minister.

Norwegian Minister of Environment and International Development Erik Solheim said that large parts of Haiti are now in ruins and that local relief efforts are insufficient. "We will consider further contributions at the U.N.'s request," he added.

The Norwegian Red Cross sent a fully-equipped and well-staffed mobile field hospital on Thursday to Haiti to help victims of the earthquake.

Borge Brende, secretary general of the Norwegian Red Cross, was quoted as saying that several of Haiti's own hospitals have been destroyed or badly damaged in the earthquake.

"It is therefore important that we are able to provide help to those who have survived and are injured," said Brende, who decided to travel with the field hospital to Haiti, which will need a lot of help in the coming months.

Some Norwegian voluntary aid organizations have already engaged themselves in relief operations in Haiti, according to a report by the Norwegian-language newspaper Aftenposten.

Source: Xinhua
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