The Norwegian government is proposing yet another aid allocation to the Philippines after its recent, devastating typhoon, asking the parliament to approve an additional NOK 120 million in emergency funding on top of another NOK 20 million agreed by the government. Prime Minister Erna Solberg, meanwhile, took part in a special mass attended by Oslo’s large Filipino community Sunday evening.
The new aid offer brings total emergency assistance to NOK 205 million, part of international efforts to help victims of the storm that has left hundreds of thousands homeless and killed more than 3,000 persons.
“We want to contribute towards relieving the suffering that children, women and men are going through in the hard-hit areas of the Philippines,” Solberg stated on Sunday. The funds are earmarked for food, water, sanitation facilities, health care, shelter and other needs. In addition to funneling aid through the United Nations, the Norwegian government is supporting acute emergency efforts of organizations including Caritas, Redd Barna (Save the Children) and the Red Cross.
Solberg attended a packed mass at St Olavs Church in Oslo Sunday evening, where she was welcomed by, among others, the Philippines’ ambassador to Norway, Bayani S Mercado. She also stayed for a meeting after the mass with families of victims. Norway has a large Filipino community and around 20,000 Filipino seafarers are employed on Norwegian-controlled ships, reported newspaper Dagens Næringsliv (DN).