Survivors of last year’s terrorist attacks testified Tuesday that they feel let down by promises of aid from the government. While the state transferred NOK 130 million to local governments to fund follow-up health care and counseling for victims and their families, the money in some cases reportedly went to other projects like road-paving.
Emergency health care services functioned well when the catastrophe hit, according to testimony at the first of five parliamentary hearings on what went wrong before and during the attacks on July 22 last year. The follow-up has been worse, with many survivors never being contacted and local governments failing to earmark the money for them.
Meanwhile, Alexandra Bech Gjørv, who led the government-appointed commission probing the emergency response to the attacks, said that the failure by Norway’s state police to get to the scene of the terrorist’s massacre on the island of Utøya more quickly lay with the police themselves and with the government’s Justice Ministry, which oversees the police.
Members of the parliamentary committee conducting the hearings said they found it “difficult to understand” why the government didn’t have a better overview of deficiencies in preparedness. “Most seem to think someone else is responsible (instead of themselves),” committee leader Anders Anundsen of the Progress Party told newspaper Dagsavisen. “That’s frightening.”