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Habitat for Humanity launches shelter appeal for Samoa and Fiji to assist those affected by Cyclone Evan

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Thousands of people in evacuation centers

Bangkok, 18th December 2012 – Habitat for Humanity New Zealand has launched an appeal to assist families in Samoa and Fiji affected by Cyclone Evan. Initial United Nations reports state that around 1,500 homes have been destroyed or damaged on Samoa, with figures as yet unavailable for Fiji.

Cyclone Evan struck Samoa on Thursday 13 December, killing four people, before circling back and striking Fiji yesterday. Over 7,700 people are currently in evacuation centers in Samoa, and a state of emergency has been declared on the Pacific island. The extent of the damage is still unclear in Fiji, where around 8,500 people are in evacuation centers.

“Habitat for Humanity Fiji is assessing the situation in-country as Cyclone Evans moves away, and Habitat for Humanity New Zealand is deploying a team to Samoa to work with local emergency management units and other partners to design a coordinated disaster response program. We are committed to helping affected families rebuild their lives”, said Rick Hathaway, Asia-Pacific vice-president for Habitat for Humanity.

To donate, please visit habitat.org.nz

Habitat for Humanity New Zealand’s appeal for both Fiji and Samoa will help fund a repair and rebuild program. A similar initiative was launched after the 2009 earthquake and tsunami that devastated Samoa, when Habitat for Humanity New Zealand built 91 homes for affected families. Similarly, Habitat for Humanity Fiji built 46 homes for families affected by Cyclone Thomas in March 2010.

Notes to Editors To set up interviews, receive photography or further information, please contact Heron Holloway, +65 9068 1892, hholloway@habitat.org

About Habitat for Humanity Fiji Habitat for Humanity started working in Fiji in 1991. Since then, Habitat has helped over 1,000 families to build homes and hope through partnerships with governments, bilateral and non-profit organizations and international volunteers. In addition to constructing homes, Habitat for Humanity Fiji is also involved with disaster prevention and recovery, water and sanitation, and disabled access housing projects. facebook.com/HFHFiji

About Habitat for Humanity New Zealand Habitat for Humanity New Zealand has helped more than 420 families into their own homes in New Zealand since its establishment in 1992. Habitat for Humanity in New Zealand works to eliminate sub-standard housing by building, renovating and selling simple, decent houses on an affordable basis. habitat.org.nz

About Habitat for Humanity International Habitat for Humanity International is a global nonprofit housing organization that seeks to bring people together to build homes, communities and hope. Since 1976, Habitat has served more than 500,000 families by building and improving homes; by advocating for fair and just housing policies; and by providing training and access to resources to help families improve their shelter conditions. An estimated 176,000 of these families are in the Asia-Pacific region, where Habitat has been active since 1983. For more information, to donate or to volunteer, please visit habitat.org/asiapacific or follow us at facebook.com/habitat.