Stamford, Conn. – March 14, 2018 – An Americares emergency team is headed to Papua New Guinea where more than 270,000 people are in need of immediate humanitarian assistance in the aftermath of a 7.5-magnitude earthquake.
The full extent of the damage is still unknown more than two weeks after the Feb. 26 earthquake. Aftershocks, landslides and blocked roads are hampering the relief efforts. Local officials are reporting at least 125 people have died and tens of thousands have been forced from their homes.
Survivors desperately need medicine, tarps, blankets, food and water, according to the United Nations Disaster Assessment and Coordination Team. Those displaced include traumatized survivors afraid to return home due to aftershocks.
“Our first priority is ensuring survivors have access to critical health services,” said Americares Vice President of Emergency Programs Kate Dischino. “Once we have a team on the ground we will have a better understanding of the situation and the most urgent needs.”
Americares, a health-focused relief and development organization, is prepared to deliver medicine and relief supplies and support the restoration of health services for survivors. Emergency response experts from Americares offices in the United States and the Philippines will deploy this week.
Americares helps communities prepare for, respond to and recover from disasters, increase access to medicine and medical supplies, improve and expand clinical services, prevent disease and promote good health. Its Emergency Response Team responds to an average of 30 natural disasters and humanitarian crises worldwide each year from earthquakes and cyclones to disease outbreaks and civil conflict.