Vanuatu has been devastated by the largest cyclone to have ever hit the country. With average wind speeds of 250km p/h and gusts up to 340km p/h Super Cyclone Pam wiped out thousands of homes, communities and livelihoods across the island nation. Initial assessments indicate that 166,000 people, over half of Vanuatu’s population, have been affected.
A national state of emergency was declared by the Vanuatu Government. The largest Cyclone to have ever struck Vanuatu, Cyclone Pam badly affected over 22 islands and left 65,000 people homeless with an estimated 50 to 90 percent of local dwellings damaged.
Whilst the severity and scale of the physical and emotional damage from Cyclone Pam is immense, there were fortunately only 11 confirmed fatalities to date.
Caritas Australia is working with the Catholic Church in Vanuatu and other Caritas agencies to respond to immediate emergency needs such as shelter, food and clean water as part of recovery efforts in Vanuatu following Cyclone Pam. As at April 2015, the Diocese of Port Vila is finalising the Church network recovery plan which will have a focus on helping communities in Port Vila and outer islands re-establish their lives while also continuing to improve preparedness in communities to future disasters.
Preparing communities for future disasters is critical to saving lives. People living in developing countries are more likely to be affected by natural disasters than developed countries. People living in poverty are the most physically, economically, socially and environmentally vulnerable to disasters.
Help communities prepare for natural disasters
Caritas Australia helps communities prepare for natural disasters before they strike. In countries prone to disasters, such as Vanuatu, we work with our local partners and communities to identify, assess and reduce the risks to the most vulnerable from future disasters.
For many years, Caritas Australia has been working with communities in Vanuatu and the Pacific to help the most vulnerable prepare for and mitigate the impact of disasters. Find out about our disaster preparedness work in Vanuatu.
This critical disaster risk reduction work is primarily funded by Project Compassion, our annual Lenten appeal.
Donate to Project Compassion
The support we receive through Project Compassion helps us deliver our vital long-term development programs, respond to emergencies and build the resilience of communities, like those in Vanuatu, to future disasters. Donate now
Donations $2 and over are tax deductible
Note: Caritas Australia has had an overwhelming response to our Pacific Emergency Appeal to which we are truly grateful. Our international Caritas network has offered significant financial pledges to support our emergency response in Vanuatu. This support enables Caritas to respond to immediate needs such as, food, water and shelter, and to help rebuild homes, communities and livelihoods.
Given the Australian and international support to date, we feel confident that there are adequate funds for this immediate emergency response. Hence we encourage you to help save lives for future disasters by donating to Project Compassion. If you did donate to our Pacific Emergency Appeal please see here for updates on how your support has helped.
* The support we receive through Project Compassion helps us deliver our vital long-term development programs, respond to emergencies and build the resilience of communities, like those in Vanuatu, to future disasters. We will direct your donation to Project Compassion where it is needed most.