With natural disasters and COVID-19 negatively impacting countries across the South Pacific extensively this year, the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) offices throughout the South Pacific have been working hard to provide support to communities in need.
According to the most recent report released on August 16, ADRA offices in the South Pacific have supported nearly 125,000 people through 49 projects, at a value of $A2.6million specifically to address the COVID-19 crisis. This isn’t including the numerous other projects still operating at this time.
In Papua New Guinea and Samoa, as well as Fiji, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu—three countries that were affected by Tropical Cyclone Harold in April—ADRA is implementing 23 projects focusing on cash assistance, COVID prevention, hygiene improvement and shelter repair and building. This support will reach more than 108,000 people in the Pacific Islands.
Specifically in Fiji, COVID has been labelled the “job-killer of the century”, with travel restrictions destroying up to 65 per cent of the country’s industry, which is tourism-related. This economic crisis follows devastation from Cyclone Harold, leaving the country largely dependent on external support. In response, ADRA is implementing four projects that focus on providing cash assistance, improving livelihoods, health and hygiene awareness, and providing food and psychosocial support.
Joseva Seru Sema from Namalata Village, Fiji, received FJD160 from ADRA Fiji through the generous funding of the UNDP, DFAT and ADRA International.
“I woke up this morning and prayed to God that there will be sustenance and provisions for my family [but i] was not expecting that by evening my prayers will be answered,” he said. “[Our] roof has been blown off. This money will enable us to buy some corrugated iron sheets so we can repair our home.”
ADRA New Zealand has also supported more than 4000 people in New Zealand by identifying families who need food vouchers and mobile phones through their “Love Thy Neighbour” project, and ADRA Australia supported more than 10,000 people in Australia with food parcels, takeaway meals and phone counseling—especially migrant families and international students who are not able to access government support.
“The dedication and commitment of not only the ADRA staff, but the many volunteers who support our responses, never ceases to inspire and amaze me,” said ADRA South Pacific director Greg Young. “Your prayers for them are greatly appreciated as they work on the front lines during these challenging times”.