Norwegian Foreign Minister Borge Brende said Tuesday his country will provide 10 million Norwegian kroner (about 1.2 million U.S. dollars) to help flood victims in Myanmar as the disaster hit the country extensively.
Brende informed his Myanmar counterpart U Wunna Maung Lwin about Norway's contribution when they met in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Tuesday on the sidelines of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Foreign Ministers' Meeting, according to a press release of the Norwegian Foreign Minisry.
"More than 200,000 people are affected by the floods in Myanmar and many people have lost their lives. Myanmar has strengthened its disaster risk reduction and preparedness efforts, but the country still needs external help," Brende said.
For a number of years, Norway has supported the development of weather warning systems in Asia so that the local population can be given an early warning when extreme weather is expected. This is particularly important for those whose livelihood is fishing in Myamar's coastal areas and river deltas, the press release said.
"The damage caused by the floods in Myanmar shows how important it is to increase resilience to natural disasters and extreme weather events. The contributions Norway has made to developing better weather warning services in various countries, including Myanmar, have shown good results," Brende said.
"It is crucial that national authorities and development actors intensify their efforts in this area so that more lives can be saved," he added.
Floods have left more than 60 Myanmar people dead and over 210, 000 people in 12 regions and states have been affected by heavy monsoon rains since June, according to Myanmar's Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Retirement.
More than 6,000 households were taking shelter in 130 relief camps in 12 regions and states across the country, the ministry said.
According to Myanmar's Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation, about 344,493 hectares of farmlands were submerged, of which Rakhine state suffered the most with over 105,300 hectares.