The Norwegian government sent both its foreign minister, Børge Brende, and promises of an additional NOK 100 million (USD 12.8 million) in financial aid to Nepal this week. The money is earmarked for humanitarian services for victims of the massive earthquakes in Nepal this past spring.
Brende was in Kathmandu on Thursday to attend an international conference aimed at helping rebuild homes and other structures destroyed in the quakes. “The earthquakes in Nepal destroyed half-a-million homes,” Brende noted. “There will be great need for support for the rebuilding for a long time.”
Norway would thus boost its financial aid to NOK 230 million, he said, to help the estimated 8 million people hit hardest by the quakes. “Many areas of Nepal are still in ruins,” said Brede, whose own father was on a hiking trip in the mountains of Nepal when the quake hit. He was uninjured.
Norway’s aid comes on top of NOK 130 million already sent and will also help provide food, health care, education and protection after more than 8,000 schools were destroyed. “We will support the local authorities’ effots to build new, safe schools so that children and youth can get back to school,” Brende stated.
Norway has provided development aid to Nepal for many years. Brende also had meetings with Nepal’s prime minister and several other ministers during which he stressed that long-term aid to the country would also continue.