IsraAID launches emergency response to Papua New Guinea landslide

31 May, 2024

IsraAID, Israel’s leading international humanitarian aid group, launched an emergency response on Friday, following last Friday’s devastating landslide in Papua New Guinea. Authorities fear the possibility of a second landslide and mass sanitation risks posed by bodies under the rubble. The massive landslide swept over six villages, leaving an untold number of people buried under the rubble. The full impact of the landslide is still unclear, with estimated casualties ranging from hundreds to more than 2,000. IsraAID’s team of experts departed Israel today and is on their way to Enga province, where they will provide urgently needed aid to the displaced and affected communities.

Last Friday’s landslide in Enga province, a remote region of the country’s Western Highlands that is home to about 5,000 people, was triggered by heavy rains. The region has suffered tribal violence in recent months that has left dozens killed, as well as a pre-existing lack of services and available resources. Dense jungle terrain, ongoing land movement, and a large section of blocked highway have made it difficult for heavy search and rescue equipment to pass, complicating aid efforts. The Papua New Guinea Government has also expressed fear that bodies trapped under the rubble could lead to dire sanitation issues, potentially causing mass outbreaks of disease.

IsraAID’s emergency response team – composed of experts in emergency aid, Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene, and mental health – will conduct rapid needs assessment upon arrival and will tailor and adapt its response in collaboration with the partners.

This is IsraAID’s first response in Papua New Guinea. The organization has been working in nearby Vanuatu since 2015, following Cyclone Pam. In Vanuatu, IsraAID has been supporting Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene, mental health needs, and Gender-Based Violence response and prevention, alongside supporting the communities’ resilience in the face of ongoing climate disasters. IsraAID launched a strategic office in Australia earlier this year, deepening the organization’s ties and commitment to the Pacific. The organization will leverage its regional experience and expertise to better respond in Papua New Guinea.

IsraAID’s Senior Director of Emergencies and Operations Michal Bar, said:

“We’re devastated by the scale of the destruction for this remote community in Papua New Guinea – as many as 2,000 people feared buried under the rubble, and over 1,600 displaced, in a community of only 5,000. IsraAID is proud to be bringing our decades of experience in emergency response to this crisis. We are dedicated to working together with all available partners to support the immediate and long-term needs of the community.”

-ENDS-

Further information is available on request, including interviews with IsraAID CEO Yotam Polizer, Senior Director of Emergencies and Operations Michal Bar, and other individuals involved in this operation.

CONTACT:

Shachar May
Email: [email protected]

Notes:

IsraAID is a leading international humanitarian non-governmental organization, based in Israel. Since 2001, IsraAID has become synonymous with a rapid response to humanitarian crises and a long-term commitment to working with affected communities. During and after emergencies, IsraAID partners with communities to re-build their lives – and their futures – together. As of May 2024, IsraAID has responded to more than 100 emergencies, in more than 60 countries.

Related articles

31 May, 2024

Press Release

IsraAID, Israel’s leading international humanitarian aid group, launched an emergency response on Friday, following last Friday’s devastating landslide in Papua New Guinea. Authorities fear the possibility of a second landslide and mass sanitation risks posed by bodies under the rubble....

IsraAID launches emergency response to Papua New Guinea landslide

12 May, 2024

Press Release

IsraAID Vanuatu launched a new program in October on Emau Island targeting stunting, a severe form of malnutrition. Emau is a small island north of the large Efate Island on which Vanuatu’s capital Port Vila is located. It has 6...

IsraAID Vanuatu targets malnutrition with support of CFLI

6 May, 2024

Press Release

IsraAID, Israel’s leading global non-governmental humanitarian aid organization, is developing an innovative chatbot to facilitate the prevention of and response to gender-based violence (GBV) in South Sudan. Dubbed “AnenaSawa”, meaning “we are with you”, the SMS chatbot will help community...

IsraAID developing SMS chatbot to support prevention and response to Gender-Based Violence in South Sudan