The COVID-19 POLYNESIA Emergency Appeal supports the Diocese of Polynesia as it prepares for and responds to the Covid-19 pandemic. While the Pacific still has relatively few confirmed cases and deaths, if the virus does get a hold, health services will struggle to cope.
There are 33 Anglican churches in the Diocese of Polynesia and a number of them suffered damage including lost roofs and flooding, following Tropical Cyclone Harold. Responding to the damage has been compromised given Fiji and Tonga have been in lockdown now for several weeks. Suva has seven Anglican churches of which a number are in deprived and vulnerable parts of the city, and across the rest of the country, many of the churches are in small and relatively isolated communities.
The Project has been drawn up by the Diocese of Polynesia and will:
- Measure, assess and map levels of vulnerability and parish human and physical resource.
- Strengthen the communications capability of the Diocese of Polynesia to prepare and disseminate safety and hygiene promotion messaging (such as social distancing) and mission and ministry outreach material (such as virtual church services) especially to remote parishes where connectivity may be compromised.
- Ensure appropriate health care for the elderly is available.
- Strengthen food security and opportunities to rebuild livelihoods including purchasing and distributing seeds, seedlings and garden equipment so that families can restore food gardens damaged by the Cyclone.
- Establish and stock pre-positioned supplies including hygiene kits.
While aimed at Covid-19, each activity has long-term sustainability outcomes and can be used in preparing for and responding to future natural disasters such as cyclones and flooding.
This Google Earth map shows where some of the parishes in Fiji are located - some are in very remote areas.