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PNG earthquake recovery moving to rehabilitation

PNG earthquake recovery moving to rehabilitation

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Disaster recovery efforts in accessible parts of Papua New Guinea’s earthquake affected Highlands region are moving towards a rehabilitation focus, aid agency World Vision says.

February’s magnitude 7.5 quake caused widespread devastation and around 150 deaths in Hela, Southern Highlands and Western provinces.

World Vision’s PNG country director, Heather McLeod, said although tribal violence was hampering aid delivery to Hela province, in other areas such as the Southern Highlands, children were returning to school and most people had basic shelter.

The aid agency was focussing on the distribution of non-food items and improving access to water and sanitation, Ms Mcleod said.

Two months after the initial quake, people remained stressed but were grateful for the aid they were receiving, she said.

“They’re beginning to adjust to the aftershocks but there’s still a lot of fear.

“What does this mean? Are they going to get worse again? So it’s encouraging that children are coming back to school,” Ms Mcleod said.

“And I was very impressed by the quality of the leadership in the villages and just wanting to support the people and make sure that their villages are well cared for.”  rnz news

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