After Hurricane Gita, which caused floods and material damage, particularly in Christchurch (south of New Zealand), the Society has stepped up with assistance to help 2 nearby islands: Tonga and Samoa where the damages were much more important.
The Society has forwarded $10,000 to Tonga and $3,000 to Samoa from its disaster relief fund. Tonga’s needs are around health, hygiene and basic food needs, in Samoa the focus is on the repair of family homes.
“We have been in contact with our National Presidents in Tonga and Samoa,” says the Society’s Twinning Officer, Arthur Schultze. “They have kept us up to date with the areas where assistance is most needed.”
In Tonga, health and hygiene are the priority area for the Society. Funds are going towards items such as disinfectant, toilet paper, napkins, mosquito nets in response to an outbreak of dengue fever, water and basic food items. In Samoa the replacement of roofs on family homes and agricultural supplies – tools and seeds – is the initial focus of support.
“Prior to Cyclone Gita, two shipments of clothing and other basics were sent to Tonga and a further shipment was dispatched last week which included clothing, bedding and canned food,” said Arthur Schultze.
The Society in New Zealand has launched an appeal for funds through its Councils and Conferences to provide Tonga and Samoa with ongoing support. The Vinnies are also having a ‘gold coin’ collection at many Catholic schools and food donations are being collected in Auckland schools.
Le Conseil national australien de la SSVP a offert 10 000 dollars australiens pour participer au soutien des populations sinistrées.
The Society’s National Council of Australia has offered A$10,000 to assist with aid in Tonga.