Israel provided 40 generators and other support to Papua New Guinea following a devastating earthquake that struck the region less than two weeks ago.

By: United with Israel Staff
With files from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Following a devastating earthquake, which struck Papua New Guinea’s highlands region on February 26, the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Agency for International Development Cooperation (MASHAV) has provided much needed support to disaster relief efforts.

The 7.5 magnitude earthquake left around 100 people dead and more than 150,000 people in desperate need of emergency supplies.

Israel, a world leader in disaster relief and humanitarian assistance and one of the first countries to send aid to Papua New Guinea, delivered 40 generators on Thursday, which will help provide assistance to communities affected by the earthquake.

“These generators will provide immediate assistance to communities suffering from damage to critical infrastructure,” noted the Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea, Peter O’Neill.

The generators were delivered by Yaron Sultan-Dadon, the Pacific Islands Adviser at the Israeli Embassy in Australia, who toured areas affected by the earthquake with O’Neill and assessed other possible avenues for Israeli assistance.

‘Israel Does Not Leave its Friends Behind’

When asked about Israel’s humanitarian assistance in an interview aired on television and radio, Sultan-Dadon noted, “The State of Israel does not leave its friends behind.”

O’Neill thanked Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for Israel’s assistance in the aftermath of the earthquake, noting, “Relations between Papua New Guinea and the State of Israel are strong, and our government and the people of Papua New Guinea appreciate the support and friendship of Israel during these challenging times.”

Southern Highlands Governor William Powi said people were feeling traumatized from the disaster and ongoing aftershocks, AP reported. The latest large temblor was a magnitude 6.7 quake that struck just after midnight Tuesday.

“It is beyond the capacity of the provincial government to cope with the magnitude of destruction and devastation,” Powi said. “Our people are traumatized and finding it difficult to cope.”

He explained that provincial authorities were trying to prioritize the greatest needs by getting people with severe injuries to medical centers and providing water and medicine, according to AP.

“It’s a mammoth task. Most of the feeder roads are washed away or covered with landslips,” Powi added. “People’s livelihoods are devastated, their personal property is gone.”

Tibor Shalev-Schlosser, Israel’s Ambassador to the Pacific Island States said, “The Israel MFA is evaluating additional means of disaster relief and will continue to assist Papua New Guinea during this difficult time.”