ADRA secures $1.7m in funding to support cyclone-devastated communities

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ADRA workers have been supporting those in need. (Photo credit: Jean Pierre Niptik)

ADRA offices in the South Pacific have secured funding of more than $A1.7 million to support communities devastated by Tropical Cyclone Harold.

The cyclone struck Fiji, Solomon Islands, Tonga and Vanuatu in April, leaving many families homeless, destroying schools, medical centres and other community facilities, and damaging water and food sources.

ADRA has been at the forefront of the relief effort, supporting thousands of people by focusing on six different sectors: Food security and livelihood (24,950 people supported); water, sanitation and hygiene (12,034); psychosocial support (22,500); shelter and home rebuilding (2516); education (300); and community development (10).

Support has taken the form of immediate aid—providing families with cash vouchers and essentials such as soap and clean water—and assistance to restore livelihoods, including the provision of agricultural kits.

"I want to give thanks to God for the ADRA staff and volunteers who assist them during these emergency responses as well as those who support with their donations and prayers."

ADRA’s emergency response activities have been supported by multiple funding partners, including ADRA International, Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, New Zealand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and the United Nations Development Programme.

Along with helping communities impacted by Cyclone Harold, ADRA has also been supporting families experiencing hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. In partnership with Adventist churches, ADRA has helped more than 2000 families in Australia and 1000 in New Zealand. ADRA teams have also been raising awareness about COVID-19 and communicating health messages in Pacific communities.

“Talk about tough going—dealing with the aftermath of a tropical cyclone and managing the challenges of a response in a COVID-19 environment is more than most of us could handle,” ADRA South Pacific regional director Greg Young said.

“Nevertheless, the ADRA teams always step up to the mark and I am incredibly proud of them for the work they have done and continue to do under such stressful circumstances. It is often said, ‘Thank God for the Salvos’; well, I want to give thanks to God for the ADRA staff and volunteers who assist them during these emergency responses as well as those who support with their donations and prayers.”