Dear ADRA Family,
Many people think of ADRA as a disaster relief agency. While it is true that we are quick to act in the face of disaster—including Hurricane Dorian last fall in The Bahamas and the ongoing COVID-19 crisis—much of our work is in Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR).
Projects that fall under the DRR category are numerous and global, and very diverse. They include introducing drought-resistant crops; building cement tanks to store water; constructing buildings to hold crops and grains; planting trees to prevent erosion; teaching sustainable farming; and so much more.
These projects are not just exercises in caution—they are implemented in the regions that need them most. Regions that experience drought, flooding, hurricanes, cyclones, and more. And right now, our DRR practices in Vanuatu have proved their merit.
In the last 24 hours, the island nation experienced a severe tropical cyclone with winds nearing 150 miles per hour and damaging storm surge. Thanks to our DRR initiatives there, however, Cyclone Harold was planned and prepared for in advance.
During the last few days, ADRA and trained youth went door-to-door in the populated communities to warn people of the impending disaster, and to help evacuate elderly and vulnerable community members to secure shelters. Instead of waiting to assist only after the destruction, ADRA sought early on to mitigate the extent of the damage.
This COVID-19 crisis is unprecedented. Unlike Vanuatu, an island that experiences cyclones every year, this pandemic defies perfect mitigation strategies.
But ADRA continues to work to support those who are vulnerable. Even in this pandemic, even as many of us connect with our global ADRA network from the isolation of our homes, the work continues.
ADRA is committed to the safety, security, and wellbeing of those who are vulnerable around the world. That includes communities in the path of a cyclone, and it includes our neighbors in the path of a virus.
During these uncertain times, never forget that God is with us and continues to support us. Never forget there is still reason to hope.
May God bless you all.