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Norway increases support for victims of earth quake in Indonesia

- The situation is critical in the areas of Indonesia that were hit by the earthquake and subsequent tsunami on 28 September. The Government is now increasing Norway’s support for the rescue efforts by NOK 10 million (around USD 1.2 million), to NOK 24 million (around USD 3 million), said Minister of Foreign Affairs Ine Eriksen Søreide.

The earthquake in Central Sulawesi has so far claimed more than 1400 lives, and the search and rescue efforts are still ongoing. The earthquake and tsunami caused massive devastation, and more than 70 000 people are now staying in temporary evacuation centres. It is extremely difficult to reach everyone in the affected areas.

- Time is of the essence for the affected population. Through our support for both the United Nations and Red Cross emergency funds, we have helped to ensure a rapid response. The funding will be used to meet basic health needs, and to provide clean water, food, shelter and psychosocial support for those who are affected, said Ms Eriksen Søreide.

Norway makes active use of the humanitarian emergency funds to help to ensure a rapid response when acute crises hit. Norway recently entered into a four-year agreement totalling NOK 1.6 billion (around USD 200 million) with the UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF).

- The local population are always the first to provide lifesaving assistance. They are there when disaster strikes, and they are familiar with conditions on the ground. In order to strengthen this important work, we are now providing NOK 10 million (around USD 1.2 million) for local rescue efforts. The Indonesian Red Cross will play a key role in this context, said Ms Eriksen Søreide.