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Over 12,000 support packages have gone out to Pacific families this lockdown

Covid-19 Support Package funded by Pasifika Futures, the Whānau Ora commissioning agency for Pacific families.
Covid-19 Support Package funded by Pasifika Futures, the Whānau Ora commissioning agency for Pacific families.

Pasifika Futures (PFL) – the Whānau Ora commissioning agency for Pacific families say they will continue to provide extensive support services for Pacific families while the demand is still there.

“Since lockdown, (two weeks ago) we have supported over 11,000 Pacific families across the country from the top of the North Island to the bottom of the South. This number of families is made up nearly 50,000 Pacific individuals who have received over 12,000 packages of support, which includes food and other essential goods” says PFL CEO Debbie Sorensen.

The numbers are staggering and highlight the amount of work and investment – $5 million to date – that PFL has utilised to meet the immediate needs of the Pacific community during this time of crisis and uncertainty.

Photo: Pasifika Futures
Photo: Pasifika Futures

Sorensen says the speed and efficiency of their operation reflects the strength of the multiple relationships they have across the Pacific landscape, “from effective advocacy in Wellington with government agencies and trusted partnerships with Pacific providers to direct engagement with community groups and regional health authorities”.

“We distributed $2 million within 12 hours to our national support partners once the lockdown was announced by the Prime minister. This was how fast we mobilised our resourcing, and we can only do this if we have positive and trusted relationships with our support partners.”

PFL CEO Debbie Sorensen. Photo: Pasifika Futures
PFL CEO Debbie Sorensen. Photo: Pasifika Futures

A recent example are the high schools – De La Salle College, McAuley High School, Otahuhu College and the Pacific Advance Secondary School (P.A.S.S) –  where the Urgent Response Team has been working directly with the schools’ families and PFL’s support partners to provide immediate support once they were identified as an area of interest. That support includes not just food but self-isolation and MIQ assistance.

“The PFL team provide a range of services including community finder coordination, mental health support, referral support for regional health authorities and support for displaced communities such as RSE workers,” says Sorensen.

Sorensen also confirmed that their support will continue while the lockdown is in place and while there is demand from the Pacific community.

“Their immediate need is our priority. We will support as many Pacific families as we can for as long as we are required. We are in this together.”

A full list of PFL partners offering support can be found here.

Source: Pasifika Medical Association Group

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