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Red Cross distributes vouchers to King Tide victims

Saturday 6 August 2022 | Written by Melina Etches | Published in Local, National


Red Cross distributes vouchers to King Tide victims
Lisa Iro, the new president for Cook Islands Red Cross Society, and secretary general Fine Tu'itupou-Arnold distribute relief vouchers. Photo: MELINA ETCHES/22080113

Three homes so far have welcomed financial assistance to repair their houses damaged by the devastating king tides which reached as high as 4.5 metres on the south side of Rarotonga last month.

A total of $800 in credit vouchers were gifted to the households. The vouchers include $500 CITC Building Centre for building materials, tools and cleaning supplies, $200 CITC Supermarket for food and cleaning products and $100 Raro Mart Mega Store for cleaning tools.

The funds have come from the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent’s Societies (IFRC) emergency funds.

According to Fine Tu’itupou-Arnold, the secretary general of the Cook Islands Red Cross Society, there are currently 12 homes on the Red Cross list which is limited to private residential homes “since their safety is priority”.

This initiative is to support private homes that have been damaged during the storm surge of July 12-21, 2022.

Red Cross conducted its initial assessment from the areas of Kavera to Tikioki and have come up with a list of homes that needed assistance.   

This is the first time Red Cross have rolled out cash vouchers for relief support. Tu’itupou-Arnold explained that relief items in stock are more suitable for disaster like cyclones, and not the kind of damage from storm surge, therefore vouchers were considered more suitable.

The vouchers are to assist with the rebuild of damaged houses and help out with the cleaning.

“We hope that our support will help the rebuild of these homes and prepare better for the next surge,” said Tu’itupou-Arnold.

Red Cross Society is an assisting organisation to Government in humanitarian services.

In the Cook Islands, Red Cross supports the Government in disaster management in preparing the communities for disaster and responding to disaster, since the establishment of the Society in 1989.

For more information, call the office on phone 22598 if you believe your home has been missed and needs an assessment. Now that procedures are in place for this particular type of support, Red Cross is hoping that vouchers will be distributed to people within 24 hours of the next disaster.