Category Archives: Press Release

Long Road Ahead for Vanuatu

“Severe and long-lasting crisis for Vanuatu”

PORT VILA, VANUATU—“This is going to be a longterm recovery and rebuilding process for Vanuatu. Agriculture, houses, and infrastructure have been destroyed,” reported Mark le Roux, ADRA Vanuatu Country Director reported after meetings with local partners and aid agencies. “This will be a severe and long-lasting crisis for Vanuatu.”

The biggest challenge aid agencies like ADRA are facing at the moment is downed cellular networks on all the islands, but plans to respond are moving forward as humanitarian organizations meet to coordinate the response.

ADRA volunteers and staff members have already started visiting evacuation centers to conduct training on how disease spreads. In some evacuation centers there are up to 300 people per toilet, and there are no handwashing facilities.

“There is a very real threat of disease spreading in a situation like this,” explained LeRoux. “And there is a shortage of medical staff because some doctors have not been able to report to work.”

An old section of the hospital in Port Vila has been flooded out with patients being moved to a new wing of the hospital. Field staff reports that there aren’t enough beds and that  generator power was lost due to flood waters.

ADRA Vanuatu has still not heard from 10 staff members, 5 in Pentecost and 5 in Malakulo.

Further information will be provided as it becomes available.

Follow ADRA International on Twitter and Facebook for more updates.

Donate to ADRA’s emergency response fund.

About ADRA

The Adventist Development and Relief Agency International is the humanitarian arm of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Its work empowers communities and changes lives around the globe by providing sustainable community development and disaster relief. For more information, visit ADRA.org.

Cyclone Pam wreaks havoc in Vanuatu

Tropical Cyclone Pam wreaks havoc in Vanuatu, ADRA in place to respond

PORT VILA, VANUATU—Tropical Cyclone Pam ripped through the islands of Vanuatu yesterday, leaving a path of destruction in its wake.

The Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) is already on the ground in place to respond in coordination with local partners and aid agencies.

Currently, ADRA is still waiting to hear from all of the ADRA Vanuatu team, including five missing in Pentecost and 5 in Malakula who have not been able to communicate due to downed cellular networks.

ADRA Vanuatu has been traveling around Port Vila to check on current conditions and reported that trees and power lines across the roads were blocking passage to main roads. The team also reported a “pre-organized evacuation center that started to get ripped apart during the night, so people had to be moved to another site in the middle of the cyclone.”

Field staff is also reporting that families whose homes have survived the last two cyclones lost their homes during Pam.

“Families are trying to gather as much as they can,” said Mark le Roux, ADRA Vanuatu Country Director. “Even sturdy houses didn’t make it—walls and roofs came down.”

ADRA is prepositioned to release emergency kits from three warehouses in Shefa, Efate, and Tafea. The kits include soap, water filtration kits, and collapsible water containers. ADRA is prepared to participate in assessing the situation when the storm has passed to decide what local communities will need most.

Further information will be provided as it becomes available.

Follow ADRA International on Twitter and Facebook for more updates.

About ADRA

The Adventist Development and Relief Agency International is the humanitarian arm of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Its work empowers communities and changes lives around the globe by providing sustainable community development and disaster relief. For more information, visit ADRA.org.

ADRA Prepares for Cyclone Pam in Vanuatu

ADRA ready to respond to Tropical Cyclone Pam in Vanuatu

PORT VILA, VANUATU 4:30 p.m.—The Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) is on high alert as category 5 Tropical Cyclone Pam hits the archipelago of Vanuatu.

ADRA is prepositioned to release emergency kits from three warehouses in Shefa, Efate, and Tafea. The kits include soap, water filtration kits, and collapsible water containers. ADRA is prepared to participate in assessing the situation when the storm has passed to decide what local communities will need most.

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reports that the winds in the eye region of the storm are averaging up to 270 kph (167 mph) with gusts up to 340 kph (211 mph). Heavy to torrential rainfall and flooding, including flash flooding are expected as well as landslides and coastal flooding from storm surge.

There are already 450 people in evacuation centers in the northern provinces—mostly schools, churches, and government buildings. There are another two cyclones forming that could affect Vanuatu in the near future.

Further information will be provided as it becomes available.

Follow ADRA International on Twitter and Facebook for more updates.

About ADRA

The Adventist Development and Relief Agency International is the humanitarian arm of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Its work empowers communities and changes lives around the globe by providing sustainable community development and disaster relief. For more information, visit ADRA.org.

Ebola Fight Continues

ADRA decontaminates homes, prevents spread of Ebola, Monday, January 26, 2015

Theophilus Kabba and Hassan Karara after a disinfection exercise in Joe Town, Waterloo. Photo by Emmanuel Cole.
ADRA staff, Theophilus Kabba and Hassan Karara, after a disinfection exercise in Joe Town, Waterloo. Photo by Emmanuel Cole.

FREETOWN, SIERRA LEONE— ADRA Sierra Leone is managing a decontamination center and deploying teams to the homes of Ebola victims to decontaminate exposed surfaces and prevent further spread of the virus.

ADRA Sierra Leone has decontaminated more than 988 homes since November 2014.

The Sierra Leone National Ebola Response Center (NERC) operates a hotline for the sick and relays information to the decontamination center that mobilizes teams to the homes. If needed, the center can first send an ambulance to pick up bodies or evacuate patients to designated Ebola treatment centers. ADRA Sierra Leone is running this program in conjunction with non-governmental organization Plan Sierra Leone.

Twelve teams of five have two disinfectors, two sprayers, and one driver. The disinfectors enter houses, spray down walls and surfaces, and remove infected materials. Sprayers wear gloves, a mask, rubber boots, and a backpack of chlorine solution to spray down the disinfectors once the job is finished. All team members wear personal protective equipment, and infected materials such as mattresses, bedding, blankets or mosquito nets are taken to a designated dumpsite run by ADRA staff and British and Sierra Leone military personnel.

ADRA Sierra Leone is also replacing items that have been removed with new ones.

The Ebola virus, easily spread through direct contact with body fluids of an infected person, can also be transmitted through contact with infected bedding, clothing, or surfaces. More than 8,641 reported people have died from the Ebola virus since the outbreak began last spring, including 3,145 in Sierra Leone, according to the World Health Organization.

The Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) International, is the humanitarian arm of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. For 30 years, ADRA’s mission has been to follow Christ’s example of serving, partnering with, and being a voice for those in need. ADRA works in more than 130 countries providing community development and emergency management.

Jonathan Duffy to interview on BRITE Radio

Monday, January 26, 2015

WASHINGTON, DC.—ADRA International President Jonathan Duffy interviewed today with BRITE Radio host Stacia Wright about ADRA’s work around the world.

In the interview with Wright, host of “The Drive,” Duffy spoke about his work at ADRA, his childhood in Australia, and even ADRA’s Spread Love concert with Take 6.

Stacia Wright hosted ADRA’s Spread Love concert with Take 6 in September 2014.

For more about BRITE Radio and the interview with Duffy, visit BRITE Radio’s website.

ADRA Liberia to distribute Christmas Packs to Ebola survivors

MONROVIA, LIBERIA – ADRA Liberia is distributing 800 Christmas Packs to Ebola survivors and their families in five counties in Liberia, including Margibi and Montserrado, the two hardest hit by the virus.

The Christmas Packs—also called solidarity kits—contain disinfectant, laundry and bath soap, one set of bedding, basic clothing, a mattress and pillow and cooking pots. The packs also have food for approximately two months including beans, rice, canned fish, powdered milk, cooking oil and sugar.

Christmas Pack distribution, which will be completed by the end of December, will help meet the basic needs of Ebola survivors and their households during the holiday season. Some households will also receive psychosocial counseling services. Several faith-based partners are supporting this project.

“Though survivors may have lost love ones, come close to death, face stigma in society and have lost livelihood, there is still a community of people who care about them and is ready to support them as they rebuild their lives,” said Annette Witherspoon, Emergency Coordinator at ADRA Liberia.

The Ebola virus has infected a reported 19,340 individuals in West Africa since the outbreak began in March. This includes 7,830 cases in Liberia that led to 3,376 deaths, according to the World Health Organization.

In response to the Ebola crisis in West Africa, ADRA has also distributed personal protective equipment (PPE), disinfectants and emergency food supplies. ADRA has been providing educational materials and engaging congregations and communities in awareness activities.

For more information or to schedule an interview, contact Cheryl Shaw at Cheryl.Shaw@adra.org.

ADRA on High Alert in Philippines for Typhoon Hagupit


SILVER SPRING, MD—The Adventist Development and Relief Agency’s (ADRA) emergency response team (ERT) is on high alert and has prepositioned resources as Typhoon Hagupit, locally known as Ruby, approaches the Philippines.

While the Typhoon has lost some strength and was downgraded from Super Typhoon to Typhoon, it seems to be regaining strength. According to the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical & Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), the storm has maximum sustained winds of 195 kph [121 mph] near the center and gustiness of up to 230 kph [143 mph].

Typhoon Hagupit is set to make landfall Saturday evening (December 6), local time, or Sunday morning over the Eastern Samar—Northern Samar area. Strong winds and storm surge up to 4 meters are expected with heavy rainfall.

ADRA’s ERT has prepared 2,500 shelter kits, and 5,000 tarps as well as other nonfood items for distribution as needed.

“We have taken the necessary steps to ensure that our response team is prepared to respond,” said Thierry Van Bignoot, ADRA’s Director for Emergency Management Unit. “We are especially vigilant of areas that were affected by last year’s Super Typhoon Haiyan who are still just recovering from that disaster.”

For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact Natalia López-Thismón, Associate Director for Communication at ADRA International at natalia.lopez-thismon@adra.org.

Dr. Jill Biden visits IDPs at Ukraine ADRA Center

KIEV—Dr. Jill Biden spoke to a group of ADRA staff, UN agency representatives, and other partner nongovernmental organizations including USAID at the ADRA center in Ukraine on Friday, November 21.

Biden took a tour of the ADRA Center and visited with an ADRA-hosted family who is internally displaced as a result of the conflict in the country.

In her speech, Dr. Biden announced that the US is promising $3,000,000 to aid in the Ukraine crisis.

“In my travel around the world, I am convinced that where people work together, there is a hope,” said Dr. Biden.

ADRA’s work in Ukraine has focused on medical help for those affected by the conflict in Ukraine. The ADRA Center in Kiev, is also supporting several internally displaced persons (IDPs) including the family that Dr. Biden met.

ADRA has also been working together with USAID and OFDA to help vulnerable and displaced families affected by the conflict with non-food items and rent and utilities.

More recent projects include the Ukrainian Shelter and Winterization Project, which helps to improve the living conditions of nearly 2,400 households in the Kiev oblast.

“Shelter and winterized access to basic needs and services are of urgent concern in eastern Ukraine,” explains Emanuel da Costa, Senior Advisor for Resilience and Humanitarian Response at ADRA International. “The response focuses on the most vulnerable households with limited resources, living in collective centers, poor-quality accommodations and in homes with repair to prepare for harsh winter conditions.”

For photos or more information, please contact mediainquiries@adra.org.

ADRA partners with USAID in Food Security Program to reach 264,380 people

 ANTANANARIVO— The Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) is one of two agencies partnering with USAID in a $75 million food security initiative in Madagascar.

The five-year ADRA program titled Asotry* will reduce vulnerability and food insecurity among households and communities in the regions of Amoron’i Mania, Haute Matsiatra, and Atsimo Andrefana.

The program will directly benefit 264,380 children under five, women, and men and comprises the following objectives: improve health and nutrition, increase sustainable access to food, improve disaster preparedness and response, and improve natural resource management.

“ADRA’s theory of change is centered around holistic development,” said Imad Madanat, vice president of programs for ADRA International.  “To address the underlying causes of poverty and malnutrition, it is critical that we implement an integrated, multi-sectorial program.  In keeping with ADRA’s core values, Asotry will help some of the most vulnerable communities in Madagascar.”

Because of the high rates of malnutrition and stunting in children under five, ADRA will work with women and children to improve health and nutrition. Women’s groups will deliver education and promotion regarding maternal health, breastfeeding, caring for common illnesses, sanitation, and hygiene.

Additionally, farmers will receive technical assistance to sustainably increase crop yields and sales of products.  Farmer Field Schools will introduce farmers to agricultural innovations, including drought-resistant seeds, soil management techniques, and pest control.

This partnership with USAID follows a long list of successful ADRA projects in Madagascar, many of which were implemented with the help of USAID.

“We value our partnership with USAID,” said Madanat.  “It has enabled us to deliver high impact interventions and foster positive change around the world.”

*Name means ‘harvest’ in Malagasy

Ebola Update: ADRA & GlobalMedic send second shipment to Liberia and Sierra Leone

On October 8, ADRA International, in partnership with GlobalMedic and ADRA Canada, will send containers of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to Cooper Hospital in Liberia and Waterloo Hospital in Sierra Leone.

On October 8, ADRA International, in partnership with GlobalMedic and ADRA Canada, will send containers of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to Cooper Hospital in Liberia and Waterloo Hospital in Sierra Leone.  The shipment includes:

  • 700,000 facemasks
  • 97,000 isolation gowns
  • 45,000 splash shields
  • 100 Tyvek isolation suits

This follows up the partnership’s most recent shipment of $92,000 in equipment and supplies to Cooper Hospital and the Liberian Ministry of Health and Social Welfare.

The Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) outbreak continues to accelerate, with almost 40 percent of the total cases occurring in the past 21 days.  As of September 30 there have been a total of 6,553 cases and 3,083 reported deaths across Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, Senegal and Sierra Leone. The case fatality rate in affected countries is as high as 70 percent, with an estimated 22.34 million people living in areas where active EVD transmission has been reported.  The large number of cases in high-population density settings and remote, hard-to-access villages makes the outbreak particularly difficult to contain.

In an effort to further reduce the number of cases in the worst Ebola crisis in history, ADRA is working toward community mobilization against the spread of infection in Liberia and Sierra Leone.  ADRA Liberia is implementing a three-month project with funding from ADRA International, activities of which include a community health education campaign, the establishment of community health committees and hand washing facilities, and the provision of household survivor kits.

In Sierra Leone, ADRA is providing psychosocial support to victims and families, community outreach in public places, production and distribution of relevant information, and partnerships with radio and television programs to further disseminate prevention information.

“Prevention is our top priority in bringing an end to this crisis,” said David Holdsworth, Associate Director of Material Acquisition for ADRA International.  “Only through education and proper patient handling can we reduce the spread of Ebola.”