Pacific emergency appeal
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.
How is Caritas responding to Cyclone Pam in Vanuatu?
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.
“After responding to the immediate needs following the cyclone, we are committed to accompanying Vanuatu and other Pacific nations that remain so vulnerable throughout the cyclone season." - Stephanie Lalor, Caritas Australia's Pacific Programs Manager.
We need your help
Please help. Caritas Australia’s Pacific Emergency Appeal is now open. Donations will be used for our immediate emergency response for the many communities affected by Cyclone Pam in Vanuatu. Beyond that, funds may be used to support other Pacific communities affected by humanitarian disasters, to help rebuild homes and communities, to re-establish livelihoods, and to help communities prepare for future disasters.
Please donate to the Pacific Emergency Appeal to provide
vital relief for those in urgent need before, during and after the headlines.
- $100 could provide three families with water and sanitation kits
- $200 could provide two families with food and hygiene packs
- $250 could provide two families with critical emergency shelter
Donations $2 and over are tax deductible.