Cash for Work in the wake of natural disaster
The Solomon Islands experienced severe flash flooding in April 2014 leading to vast destruction of agricultural livelihoods and widespread displacement. Without an income source, or ability to continue agricultural production, many villagers were at risk of being displaced to emergency shelters in the crowded capital. The ILO worked with two affected communities in order to provide tools and training to rebuild houses and schools. ILO support commenced immediately after the floods following a request from the Department of Labour. Two school projects and two construction projects were selected. For the two school projects, a total of 40 workers were recruited from the relocated communities. All workers had either been unemployed for the past six months or had become unemployed due to the damages caused by the floods. Workers were provided with safety shoes and hand gloves. Building materials and tools for the two projects were paid directly by the ILO Suva office to local suppliers in Honiara. A joint inspection by community leaders and the ILO showed a number of tangible benefits including reconstruction of houses, community buildings and wells; as well as the replanting of crops. The community retained communal use of the tools, thus allowing households to continue to plant and sell crops for income. As a follow-up measure, ILO provided community business start-up training.