Donors called in to see quake needs

National

OVERCROWDING has led to a shortage of food, water and sanitation and a high demand for health facilities and schools following February’s earthquake, according to Oil Search Ltd.
The company has brought representatives from the Australia and New Zealand governments, United Nations World Food Programme and Care International to three of five care-centre villages to witness firsthand the hardship faced by people and see how the respective organisations can support recovery.
Accompanied by Oil Search Foundation executive director Stephanie Copus-Campbell, pictured, the delegation visited Huiya, Dodomona and Walagu villages to meet earthquake survivors and understand their needs following the 7.5 magnitude earthquake that destroyed entire villages in central Highlands.
Two of the most affected villages Huiya, in Hela, and Dodomona, in Western, have been accommodating people from nearby areas who were forced from their homes and livelihoods.
“Following our visit (on April 4), we are particularly concerned about poor nutrition, especially for children, and will work with other organisations such as Unicef and Susu Mamas to improve access to essential nutrients,” Copus-Campbell said.
“Each organisation here brings a different skill set and we want to work together to ensure you are fully supported to recover from this tragedy.
“The donors have pledged to continue the relief efforts.
“This will include continued food assistance, support to put in place clean water and sanitation systems and the provision of materials to help rebuild infrastructure and gardens”.
The foundation will also support an immunisation programme to the affected areas over the next month, recognising the increased risks in the outbreak of diseases such as whooping cough and measles in crowded conditions.
Oil Search has offered space at its warehouse in Moro Camp for donors to store relief and recovery supplies and will also provide logistical support to make sure the supplies reach the disaster areas.
“The World Food Programme is planning to make Moro its base to distribute food over a four-month period, building on Oil Search’s efforts to supply food to the most vulnerable populations over the past five weeks.
“We will continue to support donors such as the World Food Programme in the relief efforts while looking at how we can get our communities back on their feet as soon as possible,’’ Oil Search managing director Peter Botten said.
“As one of the few organisations in PNG with the ability to provide rapid on-the-ground assistance, Oil Search continues to play a critical role in the relief efforts.
“To date, Oil Search has delivered more than 200 tonnes of food and supplies, reaching over 200,000 people mostly within remote villages, delivered almost 100 health centre kits and has undertaken more than 1400 medical treatment cases, including more than 55 medical evacuations.”

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