OXFAM in the Pacific and Kastom Gaden Association on Thursday signed a formal partnership that will support Australia’s humanitarian response to livelihood and economic shocks of COVID-19.
Established under the Australian Humanitarian Partnership (AHP), it will enable Kastom Gaden Association to take lead in AHP’s livelihood and food security response that aims to increase diversification and productivity of current livelihood activities.
The project will support targeted communities across the country by December 2021 to cope with the increased pressure on local food systems by providing tools and farming essentials, promote saving schemes and support small businesses struggling due to the COVID-19 effects.
Oxfam Solomon Islands Country Coordinator, Richard Sakiri at the signing event acknowledged the Kastom Gaden Association as a very reputable organisation in the agriculture sector.
“We have great confidence in Kastom Gaden and their capabilities to achieve their objectives. Kastom Gaden, as a local organisation, is an expert in their field of work with many years of experience and we will work very closely with our new partner.”
The Country Coordinator also thanked the Australian Government’s continued commitment in the COVID-19 response under the existing AHP Disaster READY Program.
“Under this partnership with Oxfam, Kastom Gaden Association is very pleased with DFAT & Oxfam to strengthen and enhanced Kastom Gaden’s current work in reaching out to farmers during this critical period of the COVID 19 pandemic that has added additional strains on the agriculture food and health systems affecting our people’s lives,” said Kastom Gaden Association General Manger Tikai Pitakia.
“We need to work collectively and in partnership,” Tikai encouraged.
“We need to continue to strengthen our local food systems and empower stakeholders and communities to enhance their responsiveness to any future challenges of food security as a result of COVID-19.”
The Australian Humanitarian Partnership is supporting Australia’s response to the global COVID-19 pandemic through the networks of Australian NGOs and local partners. Through the AHP, partners aim to save lives, alleviate suffering and enhance human dignity in the face of conflict, disasters and other humanitarian crises.