Norway offers 1.3 million euros in aid to cyclone-hit Myanmar

5 May 2008 AFP – Norway said Monday it was ready to offer up to 10 million kroner (1.3 million euros, 1.96 million dollars) in emergency aid to Myanmar, where a weekend cyclone killed more than 10,000 people.

The Scandinavian country said however it would not provide the aid directly to the military junta, preferring instead to channel the money through the United Nations or the Red Cross.

"The situation is very difficult for the Burmese people, who were already living in a precarious situation," Norwegian Development Cooperation Minister Erik Solheim said in a statement.

"It is now important to ensure that the international community can provide the necessary aid to the affected regions," he added.

Asked who would receive the Norwegian aid contribution, a spokesman for the minister, Hilde Klemetsdal, excluded a direct transfer to the military regime.

"It’s too early to say since the Myanmar regime has yet to officially request any aid from the international community," she told AFP.

"But it will not be through the regime. It would be more natural to channel it through the UN and/or the Red Cross," she added.

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