Press Release – TEAR Fund
While the focus of the aid effort is on Honiara, there are still hundreds of communities that have been unreached following the floods earlier this month. The New Zealand Government has just pledged $95,000 to TEAR Fund in an emergency effort to boost …Hundreds of Communities Yet To Receive Aid in the Solomon Islands
While the focus of the aid effort is on Honiara, there are still hundreds of communities that have been unreached following the floods earlier this month.
The New Zealand Government has just pledged $95,000 to TEAR Fund in an emergency effort to boost food production in these remote rural communities, who are yet to receive aid.
TEAR Fund CEO and chairman of the New Zealand Disaster Relief Forum Ian McInnes, who just returned from Guadalcanal said, “Much of the immediate attention went into the evacuation centres in Honiara. The reality is most people affected by the floods reside in the countryside and need as much if not more attention.”
TEAR Fund is working in the eastern and western Guadalcanal to re-establish gardens which provide food for the majority of citizens in Honiara and surrounding areas. As well as assisting communities who have been cut off from aid for more than nine days, this move will help to reverse price inflation for food in Honiara. Since the flood, the price for staple foods has risen by nearly 400 per cent.
The programme will provide seeds and plants needed for re-establishing gardens and will assist families with getting crops back to the market. The areas of eastern and western Guadalcanal remain unreachable nine days after the flood. Communities in these areas have been the most affected due to their low position and close proximity to multiple rivers.
Mr McInnes says “the crop damage to some of these communities is extensive.” Many families had lost everything, he said. “While in the Solomon Islands, I met Rolland who had a thriving market garden which fed his family and gave them an income. Now his crops and livelihood have been swept away and his garden is buried under 15cm of silt. The cruel irony is that he can’t afford to buy vegetables and other food for his family as the food shortage has seen food prices rise beyond his means.”
Mr McInnes said, TEAR Fund was grateful for the response from the New Zealand Government and from supporters in helping the country’s Pacific neighbour. “What we are doing may sound simple, but it will bring much-needed relief. Getting food production underway now, is vital for the recovery of the Solomon Islands.”
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About Tear Fund
Tear Fund is New Zealand’s Leading Christian Aid and Development Organisation. We’ve been working in close partnership with local Christian non-government organizations and churches in Asia, Africa, Central and South America for the last thirty nine years. We actively change the lives of the poor and oppressed through disaster relief, community development and child sponsorship. Assistance and care is always provided without bias or prejudice in terms of race, religion, caste, class, political beliefs or gender. www.tearfund.org.nz