In the lead up to Easter this year Tropical Cyclone Harold wreaked havoc in the Pacific, particularly damaging the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu, and resulting in 27 lives being lost, as well as significant loss in infrastructure, water, agriculture and incomes. Coupled with the impact of the Covid pandemic, countries are struggling to respond.
Anglican Missions partnered up with its friends at Anglican Overseas Aid, contributing a total of $17,000 so far to help support communities affected in Vanuatu. Our funding has been used to provide psycho-social support to communities, an element of emergency response that can be easily overlooked but has significant long-term benefits. Partners on the ground, the Anglican Church of Melanesia, is providing pastoral care and protection through its Safe, Resilient Communities project which has a particular focus on women and children.
The Anglican Church of Melanesia was already well established on the ground providing programs to help victims of violence connected to the services needed, and they were able to quickly establish mobile community hubs for the response. Trained church leaders who are trusted in these hubs means that people affected by the Cyclone could confidently and safely report and refer people needing support services. As in every crisis, those who were already vulnerable before an event remain at most risk post-disaster. These hubs which are helping those most in need to receive the support and protection they need are dual purpose as they are also being used to inform the community on the risks of Covid-19, good hygiene practice and how to protect communities from the virus.
Please note that this appeal will finish at the end of July.
Photo:CAN DO (The Church Agencies Network – Disaster Operations) community volunteers help to assemble kits and distribute to affected communities.