Vanuatu Cyclone Response
Tropical Cyclones Judy and Kevin made landfall in Vanuatu in the first days of March 2023, causing widespread damage. In addition, two earthquakes hit outside of Luganville, Santo, on the March 3rd. The entirety of Vanuatu was impacted by one or both category 3 and 4 cyclones.
Thankfully there have been no fatalities. However, the damage to properties and vegetation is significant. “Trees have been destroyed and most families’ gardens have been completely wiped out. Fruit trees, crops, plantations were all damaged,” COCOA Program Officer Eva Ntege-Dhizaala shares. This will mean food shortages, as communities grow most of their own food. Traditional houses have been damaged, and water supplies contaminated.
In response, GMP has launched the Vanuatu Cyclone Response to help people recover after the destruction caused by the cyclones. This response will be implemented through our partners, the Churches of Christ Conference Vanuatu (CCCV).
GMP will send $10,000 from the COCOA Emergency Fund for CCCV to conduct an urgent survey of needs. From there a response will be planned, specifically focusing on remote communities who may not be reached by other humanitarian responses.
So far, the immediate needs identified are food and other essential items. Many home and community gardens that people rely on for food have been destroyed. Re-establishing gardens can take months.
The initial response will focus on food vouchers, mosquito nets and seeds to help re-establish gardens. Food vouchers will give immediate food provision from local stores . Mosquito nets will help minimise transmission of mosquito-borne diseases, which are prevalent due to stagnant water left after cyclones. The response will change as more needs become apparent. There will likely be needs for water supply and decontaminating wells.
CCCV is working with the National Disaster Management Office (NDMO), Vanuatu Christian Council and provincial governments to assess the needs and target the appropriate communities. CCCV have connections where other groups do not and will ensure that these areas get the needed attention. They will also focus on low-income groups, which were not in the worst affected areas. CCCV are planning on targeting Ambae, Malekula, Maevo, Malo, the Bank Island, and some areas of Santo and Pentecost in their response. They will also support evacuation centres in cooperation with the NDMO.
Give now to help people recover from the damage caused by these natural disasters. All donations of $2 or more are tax-deductible.
Funds received in excess of the project need will be directed to the COCOA Emergency Fund for use in future disaster responses. Give responsibly – in cash not in kind. See Posting Big Parcels or Donate Responsibly for more info.