United Nations working together in flood-affected Honiara
(Honiara, 12 April 2014): The United Nations is working together in Honiara to assist the thousands of people affected by flash flooding in the capital and Guadalcanal Province.
A week after floods devastated the Solomon Islands, 21 people are confirmed dead with two missing and an estimated 52,000 affected across Honiara City and greater Guadalcanal. Over 10 UN agencies are in Honiara to distribute relief supplies and to provide expertise across coordination, protection, health, logistics and water, sanitation and hygiene.
Ms. Osnat Lubrani, UN Humanitarian/Resident Coordinator and Head of UNDP, has just returned to Suva after a week in Honiara and says a multi-stakeholder approach is needed as the situation is complex.
“Our main concern is for the thousands still displaced by flooding who have lost homes and food gardens, and remain in evacuation centres,” said Ms. Lubrani. “The UN is working together with other humanitarian partners to support the Government in managing response efforts and assessing the needs of affected people.”
Around 20 UN personnel from across the Asia-Pacific region have been sent to Honiara to assist the Government and in-country UN staff. Two logistics experts from the World Food Programme are supporting the management and distribution of relief items. The World Health Organization is assessing medical facilities and has set-up a surveillance network to monitor disease outbreaks. OCHA has three personnel in Honiara supporting the Government in coordination, information management and communication.
“OCHA is engaging with national authorities to strengthen coordination with additional regional expertise,” said Mr. Sune Gudnitz, Head of OCHA in the Pacific. “We are also assisting the Government in pulling together a three-month humanitarian action plan to assist affected people with the support of Red Cross, non-governmental organizations and donors.”
UNICEF is actively involved in the response and has a team of staff from its Suva and Bangkok offices supporting the Solomon Islands country team in child protection, education, and water, sanitation and hygiene.
“Our priority is getting education, health and sanitation supplies out as quickly as possible to the people, especially children, who need it most,” said UNICEF Solomon Islands Field Office Chief, Mr. Yun Jong Kang.
The UN organizations assisting on the ground in Honiara are FAO, UN Habitat, UN Women, UNDP, UNDSS, UNFPA, UNHCR, UNOHCR, UNICEF, UNOCHA, WHO and WFP.
For further information, please contact: Ms. Osnat Lubrani, UNDP, firstname.lastname@example.org, Mobile: +679 999 1651 (Suva) Ms. Elisabeth McLeod, OCHA, email@example.com, Mobile: +677 785 3265 (Honiara) Ms. Vika Waradi, UNICEF, firstname.lastname@example.org, Mobile: +677 767 4941 (Honiara)
To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit http://unocha.org/.