9 February 2016
In the past month ABM has supported our PNG partner (Anglicare PNG) to recruit a dedicated Disaster Response Coordinator who is currently preparing an action plan for the next 5 months as part of the Church Partnership Program (CPP) Joint Response.
ABM has also collaborated with other PNG CPP partners to progress the joint response to the disaster in PNG.
Our contacts in the PNG Church describe rain in many areas, some possibly causing minor flooding in places such as Popondetta. People are starting to replant gardens but with crops not ready for harvest for another 3-9 months. In Milne Bay, it has been reported that strong storm winds are destroying banana plantations but other crops appear to be fine.
ABM has provided non-government funds to Kerina Evangelists’ College (KEC) through its own church support programs. These funds provided emergency food relief to students and their families whose gardens had been destroyed by weevils and lack of water, and who had no other gardening ground to rely on or access to forest areas to collect emergency famine food.
Students and staff at KEC were able to receive emergency food rations for the final months of the college year when students returned home for the Christmas break.
Classes at the college were able to continue so that the academic year could be completed and students’ school aged children were able to continue attending school during this period because of the emergency food rations provided.
Women and children at KEC were involved in the process of determining minimum food rations required to supplement existing food supplies where they existed. Families with small children or pregnant women were also given priority.
The following article from the Development Policy Centre gives a good overview of the drought situation in PNG: The ongoing impact of the El Niño drought and frosts in Papua New Guinea.