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Oxfam Coordinates Response To TC Harold

Oxfam teams in the Pacific are already working with partner agencies and governments in Vanuatu and Solomon Islands in response to Tropical Cyclone Harold.

The category 5 cyclone is now hitting Santo and Malo and moving into the Penama and Malampa Provinces, with a population of 127,000 people, of which many are considered high risk as their very livelihoods depend on their food and vegetable gardens. Heavy rainfall and gale-force winds are expected to cause damages to homes, buildings and flooding to low-lying areas and river banks.

Oxfam in Vanuatu’s Country Director, Elizabeth Faerua, reported that teams are on standby as the country braces for the impact of what is believed to be one of the worse storms since Tropical Cyclone Pam in 2015.

“There is reports of damaging gale-force winds, heavy rainfall and flooding in low-lying areas of Luganville Santo, and the power lines and communications lines in the north are currently down,” Mrs Faerua said.

“We are collaborating with our local partners and working with the National Disaster Management Office, Provincial Governments and Area Councils to respond accordingly.”

Oxfam will conduct a remote survey across all the provinces to better assess and identify a suitable response on income and livelihoods of vulnerable households across Vanuatu.

Since Harold’s departure from Solomon Islands only a day ago, the response has been immediate with local and international partners responding to Government’s call for assistance.

This was confirmed by Oxfam in Solomon Islands Country Director, Dolores Devesi, stating that teams are already working alongside government and sector committees in coordinating multi-agency assessments and response.

The Oxfam Pacific team continues to engage at all levels; government, provincial and with the communities, to make thorough assessments on the ground to be able to respond.

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