On Friday our Program Manager Jane Kennedy returned from Vanuatu where she was visiting cyclone affected communities and supporting our partner, the Presbyterian Church in Vanuatu in their immediate recovery plans. Jane writes:
“Our partner church has a number of buildings being used as evacuation centres. We visited some last night – people have lost everything, they have no ability to rebuild. They’ve been receiving emergency rations and boiling water each morning over a fire. Already skin and other diseases have started breaking out in the evacuation centres as sanitation is limited.
UnitingWorld works with Presbyterian Church in Vanuatu on health, education and gender programs and our priority will be to support them to fully re-engage with these programs within the next 12 months. This will include rebuilding schools and health clinics and providing educational and medical resources. It is still very early days and the extent of the damage is not known. PCV is working closely with the National Disaster Management Office and the international aid response and taking leadership in the direction they need to go to recover. We will be guided by them and support them to do this.
Thank you for your generous donations to our Cyclone Pam Emergency Response Appeal. To donate to our appeal please click here.
Situation Update Tuesday 24th March
Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs:
- Vanuatu’s President has declared a State of Emergency across all six provinces of Vanuatu.
- Shelter, food, health and water, sanitation and health (WASH) remain key needs.
- Half of Vanuatu’s population, spread over 22 islands, has been affected by Tropical Cyclone Pam.
- 166,000 people are estimated to be in need of food assistance for the next three months.
- Estimates indicate that around 80 per cent of all evacuation centres could be closed if aid, especially emergency shelter and food, is distributed in communities of origin.
- Tropical Cyclone Pam has severely compromised the livelihoods of at least 80 per cent of Vanuatu’s rural population.
- In the highly affected Shepherd Islands, Mataso has been identified as having the most urgent needs.
- About 57,000 affected school-age children are receiving relief assistance.
- Rates of malnutrition are likely to increase.
16 Confirmed fatalities
166,000 People affected on 22 islands
3,852 People in evacuation centres in EfateEvacuation Centres in Efate
57,000 Children targeted for education assistance
65,000 In need of temporary shelter