Madame President, excellences,
Thank you for hosting today’s important meeting, providing us with the opportunity to discuss how we best way possible can respond to one of the worst weather-related disasters in Southern Africa.
The damage caused by the cyclone is extensive. The countries affected by the cyclone Idai deserve our full support both in responding to the immediate humanitarian needs and in building resilience to prevent future disasters of this magnitude.
Preparedness, disaster risk reduction, humanitarian efforts and long-term development aid produce the best results and are most effective when they form part of an integrated approach.
We have to look at the way we operate and use mechanisms that can contribute to bridging the gap between humanitarian and development. Cash based assistance is one example. Cash can empower affected people by giving them choice in determining what they need the most, support local economic recovery and connect humanitarian and development approaches.
The needs are huge. Norway is therefore increasing its humanitarian funding to the region by an additional 2,9 million USD in the wake of the cyclone, bringing the total to 5,5 million USD (47 mill NOK). These funds are being disbursed to the UN and other humanitarian partners, over 2 million USD through Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF).
Also, Norway supports the deployment of expert personnel to the UN through the NRC/NORCAP emergency roster, who will work with protection and gender based violence, and other issues.
In addition to the need for lifesaving emergency relief, such as food, shelter and medicines. Norway will give priority to measures to prevent sexual violence and abuse and to providing medical and psychosocial support.
President, excellences - Let me end by saying that rest assured Norway will stand with the people of Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe in the challenging time ahead.