From AIDOGHIE PAULINUS, Abuja
The Norwegian government, at the weekend, said it has committed about $10 million for humanitarian assistance in the northeast.
It also said its involvement in the northeast was borne out of the desire to assist people in need of humanitarian assistance.
Charge d’Affaires of the Norwegian Embassy, Abuja, Vibeke Soegaard, who spoke with Daily Sun during the Pakistani food and cultural festival, said there were more than two million internally displaced people in the region.
Soegaard said Norway supports the northeast of Nigeria in education, particularly, children who don’t have access to education and school children thrown out of school as a result of the insurgency in the region.
Soegaard further said the Norweigan Government also give support to the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), the World Food Programme and food security for the people of the north east.
On its financial commitment, Soegaard said: “It is a lot. I cannot tell you off hand, but some of the funds come from Oslo, some of the funds come from the embassy. It is less than $10 million I think.”
She recalled the conference that took place in February in Oslo, Norway, in collaboration with Nigeria, Germany and the United Nations, on the humanitarian challenges in the Lake Chad region, particularly to raise funds for humanitarian assistance in the Lake Chad.
Soegaard added that the Norwegian Government was supporting the United Nations system and non governmental organizations who work on giving the displaced people of the Northeast shelter, healthcare, water, sanitation and food.
Soegaard also gave a historical background of the relationship between Norway and Nigeria, saying that the relationship dated back to 150 years, most especially, in the area of trade.
She said Norway exported stockfish to Nigeria since the 1880s and still continued to trade with the country.
Soegaard added: “So, we are very much trade partners in many sectors: the fishery sector and of course, in the oil and gas sector because we also produce oil in Norway.”
Speaking earlier, the Charge d’Affaires of the Pakistani High Commission, Abuja, Asim Khan, said the food and cultural festival was organized to strengthen the bilateral relations between Pakistan and the international community.
He said the event was a way of showing to other nations that Pakistan is a resilient nation and can do what other nations can do.