Aid workers concerned about impacts of riots in Honiara
26 Nov 21
The Solomon Islands is one of the least developed nations in the Pacific, already facing a combination of challenging factors: a lack of basic infrastructure, vulnerability to natural disasters, civil unrest and widespread poverty. The country also faces considerable inequality, with much of the country’s wealth and infrastructure centered in Honiara, leaving a stark difference between the capital and regions.
“Seeing the protests unfold in front of us has been alarming, but what really worries me are the impacts on the communities we’ve been working with for so long,” says Rose Everlyn Clough, Caritas Australia’s Program Quality Coordinator for Solomon Islands, based in Honiara.
“I’ve been working with some very remote communities, and I know that they will face even more challenges the longer that this continues. For communities that are already struggling without access to clean water, or with limited livelihoods options, these kinds of events just create more uncertainty and more disruption.”
“We hope that the protests ease down soon so that we can continue our work, and we ask for support from Australians to make sure that those who are already struggling to access food and clean water don’t go without during this period.”
“The longer the protests go on, the more the supply chain is disrupted,” says Emma Dawson, Caritas Australia’s Pacific Manager.
“This means that communities might not be able to buy or trade goods, including food and vital supplies for hygiene and sanitation, which are already a problem in the country. For families already living close to the poverty line this could push them under, and remote communities will become even more isolated.”
Caritas Australia has been working in the Solomon Islands since 1999, and continues to work with local communities to increase access to clean water, sanitation and hygiene facilities, as well as spreading life-saving information about the importance of COVID-19 treatment and vaccination.
Visit caritas.org.au/ or call 1800 024 413 toll free to provide much needed support to vulnerable communities in the Pacific by donating to our Pacific Regional Appeal.
Media contact: Jessica Stone 0490 684 867 / firstname.lastname@example.org
Emma Dawson, Caritas Australia’s Pacific Manager is available for interview.
Rose Everlyn Clough, Caritas Australia’s Program Quality Coordinator for Solomon Islands is available for interview from Honiara, Solomon Islands.