4 February 2013
Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand is supporting extensive rebuilding work in the South Pacific and the Philippines following cyclones in the two areas in December.
The New Zealand agency, with Caritas Australia, is helping Caritas Samoa to shelter, feed and ensure safe water supplies to people affected by Cyclone Evan that hit Samoa on 13 December.
Fuatamu and her children (pictured) are among those being helped in Mataio Samuela on Samoa’s South coast. Caritas Samoa volunteer Michael (yellow vest) is giving her emergency food supplies. Fuatamu’s badly damaged home has been covered with tarpaulins to ensure the family is protected from stormy weather.
After the cyclone hit, Caritas Samoa worked with Red Cross to shelter more than 1000 people in four centres. It supplied food, water and other necessities, and emergency generation for lighting.
Caritas is also working with the Missionary Sisters of the Society of Mary (SMSM) in Samoa and the island of Wallis to support families with food, shelter and replanting of crops.
So far Caritas has committed almost $100,000 to Pacific cyclone recovery, including $75,000 from the New Zealand Government.
Earlier in December, Typhoon Bopha killed more than a thousand people in the southern Philippines and jeopardised the livelihoods of more than five million. Many live in open areas in makeshift shelters or within partly damaged structures.
After committing an initial $300,000 for emergency relief, half from the New Zealand Government, support is now focusing on housing in a six-month emergency plan to provide 700 displaced families in the Davao Province of Mindanao with day-to-day living needs – water supply, sanitation and clean-up systems and shelters to help restore livelihoods and income sources.
Go to www.caritas.org.nz for details about how to donate.