Oxfam Australia aid worker Rebecca Vince (VIC) arrived in Port Moresby today to assist with the humanitarian relief effort following last week’s cyclone that left up to 145,000 people without adequate access to shelter, food and water as well as medicine.
A logistician with Oxfam used to working in disasters, Ms Vince arrived in Port Moresby this morning to manage the delivery of bladder tanks to store clean drinking water as well as tarpaulins to provide temporary shelter to thousands of homeless people.
‘The priority now is to provide shelter, food, clean water as well as medicine to the people affected by this disaster,’ said Ms Vince. ‘We must act swiftly to prevent outbreaks of diseases and diarrhea,’ she added.
In Papua New Guinea (PNG) a State of Emergency has been called in the affected Oro province. The government estimates that thousands of people have been left homeless by the cyclone. Torrential rain, the worst in thirty years according to locals, has caused extensive damage throughout parts of North East PNG. Gardens and livestock have also been destroyed, which will make food supplies scarce over the coming months. Despite damage to airstrips, wharves and bridges hundreds of people have been evacuated from their villages and moved to higher ground.
Oxfam has been working in Papua New Guinea for over thirty years. The aid and development agency has staff on standby in PNG able to respond to basic needs in the wake of the disaster.
To arrange an interview with Rebecca Vince contact Melany Markham on 61 3 9289 9415 or +61 407 515 559