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.
International agency Oxfam is sending an emergency response team to Samoa today to help meet the urgent needs of people affected by yesterday’s tsunami.
Oxfam will be working alongside our Samoan partner organization, Women in Business Development Inc. (WIBDI), in Apia, to prepare for an appropriate and co-ordinated response.
Director of WIBDI, Adimaimalaga Tafunai, based in Apia, said they have three teams out today assessing urgent needs and delivering water, food and clothing to those worst affected – and welcoming the arrival of Oxfam staff with their humanitarian expertise.
“The devastation is frightening,” says Mrs Tafunai. “Every family has been affected. One of my staff members has lost 13 members of her family.”
Oxfam and WIBDI are working closely with the Red Cross, UN agencies and Samoa’s National Disaster Management Office.
Oxfam expects to help coordinate the supply of clean water and sanitation and has emergency supplies on hand for up to 10,000 people once the specific needs are identified. These include: buckets, tarpaulins, hygiene kits and mosquito nets.
Notes to editors
Women in Business Development works in 150 rural villages across Samoa, supporting a range of community-based projects aimed at alleviating poverty, creating sustainable village economies and revitalizing the agricultural sector.