“Severe and long-lasting crisis for Vanuatu”
PORT VILA, VANUATU—“This is going to be a longterm recovery and rebuilding process for Vanuatu. Agriculture, houses, and infrastructure have been destroyed,” reported Mark le Roux, ADRA Vanuatu Country Director reported after meetings with local partners and aid agencies. “This will be a severe and long-lasting crisis for Vanuatu.”
The biggest challenge aid agencies like ADRA are facing at the moment is downed cellular networks on all the islands, but plans to respond are moving forward as humanitarian organizations meet to coordinate the response.
ADRA volunteers and staff members have already started visiting evacuation centers to conduct training on how disease spreads. In some evacuation centers there are up to 300 people per toilet, and there are no handwashing facilities.
“There is a very real threat of disease spreading in a situation like this,” explained LeRoux. “And there is a shortage of medical staff because some doctors have not been able to report to work.”
An old section of the hospital in Port Vila has been flooded out with patients being moved to a new wing of the hospital. Field staff reports that there aren’t enough beds and that generator power was lost due to flood waters.
ADRA Vanuatu has still not heard from 10 staff members, 5 in Pentecost and 5 in Malakulo.
Further information will be provided as it becomes available.
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The Adventist Development and Relief Agency International is the humanitarian arm of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Its work empowers communities and changes lives around the globe by providing sustainable community development and disaster relief. For more information, visit ADRA.org.