Vanuatu in the wake of Cyclone Pam

Vanuatu’s government has launched a flash appeal to help thousands of people in urgent need of humanitarian aid in the wake of Cyclone Pam. Jotham Napat, chairman of the National Disaster Management Committee (NDMC), said more than 166,000 people had been affected by the cyclone, with 110,000 left without access to safe drinking water.

He told Radio Australia’s Pacific Beat his country would need $US29.9 million to respond to the humanitarian crisis over the next three months. “The cyclone damaged around 63 per cent of the health facilities and has disrupted health service delivery.

International aid has been pouring into Vanuatu in the 10 days since Cyclone Pam devastated the country, but the United Nations also said more was needed.

UN Disaster Assessment and Coordination team leader Sebastian Rhodes Stampa said more than $US10 million in contributions from donors had been recorded. Mr Rhodes Stampa said emergency food and shelter and the restoration of basic health provisions on even the remotest of islands would be a priority. “But also, it’s critical that we get the children back in school, we return communities to a sense of normality as soon as possible, as well as providing for their most urgent needs,” he said.

The World Food Program is taking a leading role in supplying the food aid.

[Australia Broadcasting Corporation]

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