Cyclone Pam – 9 bags of Rice and 200L of water for 1200

Food and water as well as shelter are a major concern for the people of Vanuatu.

Residents on the outer island of Enae say they will run out of food and water in a week and desperately need help.

Health worker Donald Kalsong said some supplies have reached Enae, but not enough.

He said only nine bags of rice and 200 litres of water were dropped off for the 1200 residents on the island.

In many places everything above ground has been destroyed says Mark Mitchell.

“Every day we are getting more information from other, more remote islands.”

“People still have access to root crops, but they will only last about a week for many communities.”

Mitchell, Humanitarian Programmes Coordinator for Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand, is in Port Vila where Caritas Oceania agencies, including Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand and Caritas Australia, are leading a combined Caritas response to Cyclone Pam.

He says coordination of the response to Cyclone Pam is going well and communication is slowly being brought back onboard.

With more than half the population of Vanuatu homeless, the arrival in Port Vila of 2,000 tarpaulins in the next few days, to be used as temporary shelters, will enable Caritas to respond directly to one of the greatest needs.

OCHA reports that 12,000 shelter kits and 24,000 tarpaulins are needed for communities across the island nation, especially on Tanna and Erromango Islands where the category 5 cyclone passed closest.

Communities on isolated islands in Vanuatu are also facing the perilous prospect of dwindling fresh water supplies.

Children are at risk of potentially deadly water-borne diseases like diarrhoea, warns Save the Children.

Mitchell says that in the midst of the devastation and the direness of the situation, there is also a hopeful story.

There is a the reduced number of casualties because of aid organisations like Caritas have worked with the government and communities to prepare for such emergencies.

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
  • Internet banking – account #03 0518 0211216 00
  • Text Pam to 833 to donate $3 to Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand


Additional reading

News category: Asia Pacific.

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