Earthquake survivors in Papua New Guinea are receiving life-saving aid from Canada thanks to $410,000 from the Canadian Humanitarian Assistance Fund.
When a 7.5 magnitude earthquake hits, extensive damage is extremely likely. When one hit Papua New Guinea in late February, the extent of the damage remained unclear for many days because of the remoteness and lack of access to the affected regions. The country was also racked by more than 130 aftershocks, many over magnitude 6.
The quake, and resulting landslides and collapsing walls, killed more than 100 people, with reports of casualties still being confirmed. More than 544,000 people were affected, with approximately 230,000 in need of immediate assistance.
Humanitarian Coalition member CARE Canada is responding to their needs, with a strong focus on helping women and girls.
“A major concern for CARE was the gender disparity that exists in Papua New Guinea, and we know disasters can often acerbate that gap,” says Kevin Dunbar, director of global programs and impact at CARE Canada. “Women in Papua New Guinea deal with excessive workloads, lack of access to safe water, poor access to health centres, high number of pregnancies and high rates of family violence.”
CARE’s response plan will improve access to health, education, shelter and clean water to more than 12,000 people.
The Canadian Humanitarian Assistance Fund is a joint mechanism between the Humanitarian Coalition, its member agencies and Global Affairs Canada.