ILO and Crisis response in Samoa

In Samoa UN agencies have been involved in undertaking initial impact assessments and now supporting the design of recovery and rebuilding programmes.

Cyclone Evan caused widespread damage in Samoa and Fiji, destroying lives, homes and economic livelihoods.

The cyclone made landfall in Samoa on 13 December 2012. It brought with it heavy rain and winds of up to 270 kilometres per hour, causing storm surges up to four metres high. In the wake of the disaster, lives were lost, homes and schools were destroyed, and thousands of people were stranded in evacuation centres. Samoa has now moved into the recovery and rebuilding phase, with the estimated damage bill at around $US300 million.

A mission was undertaken following the cyclone by a ILO CRISIS Response and Recovery consultant with support from the ILO’s Programme Officer for Samoa. The ILO has offered support to focus on disaster preparedness as well as a risk reduction geared towards strengthening its social partners and communities to be better prepared for recurrent of natural disasters and in bringing relief to those affected members of the population who have lost income and will be without income for the coming six months or more.

The Ministry of Labour in Fiji has developed a temporary Cash-for-Work programme to respond to the damage to livelihoods and infrastructure in the western and northern divisions of Fiji following Cyclone Evan. The Ministry is awaiting the findings of the Post Disaster Needs Assessment. This is expected to be finalized by the end of the month and based on its recommendations, the Ministry will begin implementation of its programme.