Vanuatu Emergency Appeal
The devastating volcanic activity on Ambae, an island in the north of Vanuatu has impacted people greatly. In response, GMP launched a Churches of Christ Overseas Aid (COCOA) Emergency Appeal to raise critical support for the thousands who have been affected. Thank you for your support of this initial appeal.
Your support is still needed to help those affected by this disaster.
In September 2017, the Vanuatu Government evacuated the entire population (approximately 11,000 people). GMP initially made $10,000 available to support evacuees in Santo, which was dispersed through the Churches of Christ Conference in Vanuatu (CCCV) and the Vanuatu Council of Churches Disaster Response program. When the people displaced due to this disaster returned, they returned to to devastation.
Suzanne Hayes, COCOA Program Officer, reported after visiting in November 2017, "The situation is very sad. People have lost a lot of their root crops. On top of this the volcanic ash has also damaged plants – and acid rain has destroyed vegetation. The falling ash can also be hot and burns. There is a shortage of food – the markets have been closed and so far only some people have been given rice and tinned meat. Clean drinking water is also a major issue. People are saying they are coughing more... (and some have) sore eyes, and skin rashes."
The effects of this disaster were huge, but you were able to provide vital supplies to people in need.
Based on the findings of a rapid needs survey, GMP responded by providing vouchers which have allowed communities to access essential clean water, food and household supplies from local shops. The vouchers reached 620 households and 2414 people. The vouchers received an overwhelmingly positive response, as they allowed recipients freedom to access the supplies most needed in their community (with the type of items being monitored CCCV and GMP). Partnering with local shops minimised transport and administration costs, and supported the local economy. This access to clean water and food has been vital, and has had a huge impact as the people of Ambae adjusting to life with an active volcano.
You provided vital water, food and basic supplies for communities in their time of need.
But, people affected by this disaster still need your help.
Although the state of emergency was lifted on October 27, 2017, the situation was still dire for many communities have been affected by the volcanic activity. On April 13, 2018, a new state of emergency was declared due to the amount of ash being spewed out of the volcano. People living in the worst effected areas were relocated to safer parts of Ambae. Voluntary evacuation to nearby islands Maewo and Pentecost, was also offered to residents. During this state of emergency the government arranged for secondary schools to be relocated to other islands.
Londua School, a long partner of GMP, was evacuated in May 2018, as the campus is situated only 10km from the volcano. The school had experienced hot scoria and heavy ash falling from the volcano. The students were scared. Students and staff were also affected by the shortage of food, and water on the island. Londua has now been evacuated indefinitely to Bombua School, a Churches of Christ School on Santo.
Help ensure the students from Londua School have access to vital amenities such as water and electricity, in their new location.
Your donations will ensure temporary accommodation and classrooms are available for staff and students. They will also help provide basic amenities such as water, electricity and toilets for the extra people. GMP will continue to support Londua’s staff and students, as the focus of the next stage of this project, through the Churches of Christ Conference Vanuatu (CCCV).
Ensure that the students at Londua School have their basic needs met, and can continue their education.
If the staff and students from Londua are unable to return, the CCCV, with our support, will assist in building dormitories and school buildings to accommodate the students and staff on a more permanent basis. A stable and secure environment is vital in continuing the education of students. By investing in Bombua, even if Londua can one day return to Ambae, the capacity for local education will have grown.
You can give students displaced by the volcanic activity access to vital amenities, whilst ensuring they have quality education for the future.
Although the state of emergency expired on July 13, 2018, the CCCV, with our support are also preparing for the future. They are developing a Disaster Desk officer role, and disaster preparedness training and projects for communities. They are also liaising with the National Disaster Management Office (NDMO) and other church agencies to ensure coordination and sharing of resources for future emergency situations. GMP will support these developments, as they will help communities be well prepared for emergency situations in the future.
Help ensure affected communities are better prepared for disaster situations in the future.
We understand many of our supporters already contribute financially to the work of GMP, and for that we are truly grateful. We know you care about helping others in their time of need, so ask you continue to help people in Vanuatu who are affected by the volcanic activity. If you are also able to partner with us in this continued emergency response we, and the people of Ambae, would be deeply thankful.
You can give using the side panel found on the right hand side of this page, or download the giving form. Donations over $2 to the COCOA Ambae Emergency Appeal are tax-deductible.