Tuesday, 21 November 2017

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Food reaches all islands affected by Cyclone Pam

Vanautu wfp

29 March 2015 - Two weeks after Cyclone Pam hit Vanuatu, food has reached all 22 cyclone-affected islands for more than 160,000 people. The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) is supporting the government-led relief effort by organizing distributions, logistics services, and providing extra food to supplement government food packages where necessary.

Government food packages include a two-week supply of rice, canned fish and meat, and noodles. WFP is supplementing this with 200 metric tonnes of locally-purchased rice and 40 metric tons of biscuits fortified with vitamins and minerals which have been airlifted to nine priority islands in Vanuatu where families have limited access to clean water to cook food.

The WFP-led Emergency Telecommunications Cluster and its partners are providing connectivity at seven sites across Vanuatu for use by the government and humanitarian community.

Flash appeal

A UN Flash Appeal, launched in Port Vila on 24 March, seeks US$29.9 million to cover the needs of 166,000 cyclone-affected people for three months. WFP requires up to US$6 million for food assistance activities and US$2.3 million for logistics and telecommunications services.

In a press release issued on 24 March Osnat Lubrani, the UN's humanitarian coordinator for the archipelagic nation said “We stand with the Government of Vanuatu and urgently seek the support of the international community at a time of immense need.”

UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) spokesperson, Christophe Boulierac has said that UNICEF is on the ground providing treatment for diarrhoea, care of new-borns and nutrient supplements while also protecting children from violence, exploitation, and abuse.

Full extent of damage unknown

The Category 5 tropical cyclone descended upon Vanuatu, Tuvalu and a number of other Pacific islands 11 days ago battering them with 250kmph winds and 320kmph gusts which caused widespread damage to agriculture, infrastructure, and impacting services such as electricity and communications. Initial assessments of the storm's immediate aftermath in Vanuatu counted 17 people dead and some 65,000 people homeless as well as 166,000 people in urgent need of life-saving assistance.

It will be some time before the full scale of damages and needs on Vanuatu's more than 80 islands will be known due to a lack of functional communications and limited access.

WFP is grateful for contributions received from the Government of Australia, as well as logistical support in the form of cargo aircraft made available by the Government of Australia and the Government of the United Arab Emirates.

Vanatu infographic

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