A desperate and largely unknown humanitarian crisis is deteriorating in the Lake Chad Basin region of West Africa, forcing millions of people to flee their homes and leaving millions more in need of humanitarian assistance. Oxfam is providing life-saving support but help is urgently needed to prevent the crisis turning into a catastrophe.
Oxfam is expecting to send emergency staff to Apia , Western Samoa , within 24 hours to assess the situation on the ground, and identify the most urgent needs for people displaced following the 8.3 magnitude earthquake and tsunami that hit Samoa.
“Once the urgent needs are assessed we are expecting to help coordinate the supply of clean water and sanitation for those affected by the disaster,” says Oxfam Australia’s Executive Director Barry Coates.
“We have emergency supplies on hand for up to 10,000 people once the needs of the affected population are assessed. These include: buckets, tarpaulins, hygiene kits and mosquito nets.”
Oxfam is with the Red Cross and UN agencies, and liaising with its Samoan partner organisation, Women in Business Development, in Apia , to prepare for an appropriate and co-ordinated response.
Coates adds: "This disaster is in our neighborhood. Reports are still filtering in, but it is clear that a number of villages have been devastated. This is a crucial time to support our Samoan family."