At the end of March this year, the Solomon Islands government declared a State of Emergency in response to the COVID -19 pandemic. Due to the limited health resources in the country, it was felt that the only way to keep the population safe was to ensure that the virus did not enter the Solomon Islands.
Restrictions imposed centred around the closure of borders, limiting of the movement of vessels and aircraft and temporarily closing public spaces.
Schools and educational institutions were shut down for 8 weeks, and informal markets – a source of food and income for many members of the community – were banned from operating in the capital of Honiara. As a result, many people living in the city returned to their villages.
The State of Emergency has now been extended until November.
The self-sustaining culture that exists in the villages means that those people who have returned from the city can be provided for by their families. However, many people who remain in the cities are now struggling, and with little government assistance available to them many face an uncertain time. The New Apostolic Church was pleased to offer support by donating food items such as canned fish, rice, noodles, tea and sugar, which were distributed to those who found themselves needing assistance during this time.
Should you wish to help support communities within Australia and the South Pacific region prepare for, and recover from, natural and man-made disasters, donations can be made at nacare.org.au. All donations over $2.00 are tax deductible within Australia.