Norwegian Foreign Minister Borge Brende showed their commitment to the Philippines when he visit the eastern Visayas region on Wednesday to assess the humanitarian effort that his countrymen contributed to the badly-affected areas.
“Tomorrow, I will be visiting the areas and see how the rebuilding is going,” Brende said shortly after he arrived on Tuesday at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport for a two-day working visit in the country.
He added that he will also see first hand the Norwegian humanitarian organization that helped in rebuilding Tacloban and other disaster-hit areas.
Brende was welcomed at the NAIA by Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Laura Q. Del Rosario, Philippine Ambassador to Norway Bayani Mercado, DFA deputy chief of protocol Adelio Cruz and Norwegian Ambassador to the Philippines Knut Solem.
The foreign minister said both countries will discuss Norway’s participation in the recovery program in typhoon-hit areas, which he said that Norway has contributed substantially in the rebuilding after the typhoon.
“There is a great collaboration between our two countries. I’m here to meet with your president and foreign ministers to discuss building back better the areas that had been badly affected by the typhoon,” Brende said.
Norway is the second wealthiest country in the world and is currently place in the United Nations Human Development Index since 2009.
“We are not a largest country in the world, but for Norway, it is important to be a partner in the rebuilding,” he said, adding that Norway is the third or fourth largest donors when it comes to humanitarian assistance.
He said that four million people from the 14 million people that have been affected by the typhoon are still internally displaced.
On Thursday, Brende will meet President Aquino to discuss the collaboration between the two countries. BENJIE L. VERGARA