Oxfam New Zealand is seeking funding to support their response to the devastation caused by yesterday's tsunami in the Solomon Islands (Monday April 2, 2007).
"Oxfam's number one priority is to ensure adequate access to clean drinking water, food, shelter and sanitation to those affected by the disaster," said Oxfam New Zealand's Executive Director, Barry Coates. "We hope that kiwis will be generous in their response to this disaster in our Pacific neighbourhood.
"While assessments are yet to be completed, and with damage to outlying islands still unclear, it is evident that we have a role to play in the immediate relief and ongoing recovery stage."
In the Solomons, Oxfam's Rex Tara, 34, is leading a disaster assessment and response team put together by the Solomon Islands National Disaster Management Office that includes humanitarian agencies such as Oxfam, United Nations and Red Cross as well as the Solomon Islands' Ministry of Infrastructure and Ministry of Health.
"The sense of loss is enormous as people count the cost of this tragedy and live with the fear such natural disasters bring," said Coates.
The call for rapid response funding is in advance of a full appeal which will be launched in the next few days once the scale of the disaster becomes apparent and specific needs of the people in the affected areas have been identified.
Oxfam welcomes donations from the public. Donations can be made online at www.oxfam.org.nz or by calling 0900 600 20 to leave a $20 donation.