One year after Cyclone Pam devastated Vanuatu, World Vision is assisting families with their long-term recovery from one of the worst disasters to hit the country.
“In partnership with government authorities, World Vision began its emergency response as soon as possible, distributing essential aid and food,” said Michael Wolfe, World Vision Vanuatu’s Country Director.
World Vision has provided direct assistance to more than 62,000 people, thanks to the generous support of multiple donors.
“After the immediate phase, our focus quickly turned towards longer term recovery. This included working with communities to be more resilient for future disasters; building back safer, improving access to water, growing climate hardy crops,” Mr Wolfe said, “Thus far World Vision has provided direct assistance to more than 62,000 people, thanks to the generous support of multiple donors.”
On the islands of Erromango and Pentecost, World Vision partnered with local community builders to improve techniques such as bracing and strapping. This was to ensure that as local building materials such as natangora (palm used for thatching) and coconut palms regrow, families can build homes that are stronger and safer.
Throughout the response World Vision also partnered with local community-based organisations such as Wan Smolbag (WSB) to provide access to nutritious meals for vulnerable urban families. Cyclone Pam and El Nino have impacted the availability and price of fresh foods in markets, so some families no longer have access to nutritious foods, increasing their vulnerability to disease.
“As our response to Cyclone Pam continued, so too did the challenges facing families trying to get back on their feet as one of the worst droughts in recent times started to impact Vanuatu, increasing the burden of the aftermath of Cyclone Pam,” Mr Wolfe said.
On Pentecost and Tanna, the World Vision team has been repairing latrines, water sources and providing tanks, particularly to schools whose access to water was damaged during the cyclone. This was particularly important with the projected impact of El Nino.
“World Vision, as a member of the Vanuatu Humanitarian Team, remains committed to working with the Government of Vanuatu, the National Disaster Management Office (NDMO), and other development partners in supporting communities to recover,” Mr Wolfe said.
World Vision’s response has been supported by the Governments of Australia, New Zealand, UK, Canada, the Netherlands and the United States and the generosity of World Vision supporters globally.
For more information or to interview Mr Michael Wolfe or Chloe Morrison please contact:
World Vision Vanuatu Emergency Communications Officer, Chloe Morrison +678-543-6518.