Vanuatu Bishop says shelter a priority

“In Port Vila the destruction is everywhere, and there’s no news from anyone around the islands yet,” says the Bishop of Port Vila, John Bosco Baremes.

“There’s just no shelter, with so much having been blown away, and people will need somewhere to shelter while they rebuild.”

Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand and Caritas Australia are leading a combined Caritas response helping to provide people in evacuation centres with food, water and other necessities.

The Diocese of Port Vila has also established a Disaster Committee to assess damage and plan a response, and Caritas partners report that a number of churches are being used as evacuation centres.

“In emergency situations such as this, the Church plays a valuable part in providing assistance to the most vulnerable communities,” says Mark Mitchell, Humanitarian Programmes Coordinator for Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand.

Mitchell and Caritas Australia counterpart Stephanie Lalor went to Port Vila on Wednesday to help coordinate humanitarian relief efforts.

They have previously worked with the diocese on development and emergency preparedness projects.

Caritas organisations from around the world have also pledged their help and Caritas is appealing to the public for donations.

An initial $20,000 has been pledged by Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand through the Pacific Cyclone Relief Fund.

Donations to assist with the humanitarian response can be made by:

  • Phoning 0800 22 10 22 to make credit card donations
  • Donating online to Pacific Cyclone Relief Fund using a credit card at
  • Text Pam to 833 to donate $3 to Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand
  • Posting to Caritas, PO Box 12193, Thorndon, Wellington 6144, New Zealand


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News category: New Zealand, Top Story.

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