Cyclone Pam Appeal

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UnitingWorld continues to support our partners the Presbyterian Church in Vanuatu as they rebuild schools, health centres and community and church buildings and re-establish livelihoods. Our focus is on ‘building back better’ and empowering local communities to withstand (inevitable) future emergencies. This includes making sure buildings are strong, emergency evacuation procedures are in place and supporting church leaders (particularly women) to be trained in Psychosocial Trauma Counselling and Disaster Preparedness.

One particular program we’re supporting is a debris removal project – this addresses the significant risk that loose debris poses to people in the event of a subsequent cyclone. This involves collection of all the loose building materials that were dislodged from buildings by Cyclone Pam – particularly around school buildings.

Vanuatu is also recovering from a drought arising from El Nino event, so re-establishing agrarian based livelihoods remains a challenge for many communities.

You can continue to support out partners in their rehabilitation efforts.

Click here to make a secure online donation or call us on 1800 998 122 or post cheques to UnitingWorld Cyclone Pam Appeal, PO Box A2266, Sydney South NSW 1235

Funds raised for this appeal will be used to provide for the rebuilding of affected communities  over the longer term.  Any excess funds will be held in our Emergency Contingency Fund and used to respond to future emergencies in the Pacific. All donations are gratefully received. Donations $2 and over are tax deductible. Please click here to read our Privacy Policy

 

Previous updates

Our prayers are with our partners and the people of the Pacific as they respond to the devastating effects of Cyclone Pam, which struck on the 14th March 2015. 

Please continue to pray for our partners during this crisis and if you can, please give generously to our Emergency Contingency Fund to support our immediate humanitarian response. A Prayer and Bible passage for communities affected by Cyclone Pam can be found here or prayer can be downloaded by clicking here.

Update 23 April

This week, Rev Dr Stephen Robinson, the UCA’s National Disaster Recovery Officer returned to Port Vila to complete a two day Disaster Recovery workshop with 50 pastors from the Presbyterian Church in Vanuatu and additional guests from the Anglican Church of Melanesia. Please click below for Stephen’s inspiring blog, detailing his experiences working with the incredibly resilient people of Vanuatu.

https://stephenrobbo.wordpress.com/2015/04/21/now-its-our-turn-disaster-recovery-in-vanuatu/

Update April 15

The week after Tropical Cyclone Pam hit Vanuatu, UnitingWorld program manager Jane Kennedy and Uniting Church of Australia Disaster Relief Officer Stephen Robinson travelled to Port Vila to provide operational and psycho-social support for our partners the Presbyterian Church in Vanuatu.

Our partners requested we support them with Disaster Recovery training, to be provided for key pastors and leaders from all over Vanuatu who are now caring for up to 65,000 people in disaster-stricken communities.

Participants will learn about the stages of recovery after disasters, self care and how to care for others during trauma. 60 pastors including 15 key women leaders will attend the training on April 22 and these women will then train other key women in all provinces, using the materials and resources provided.

Ten pastors and leaders from the Anglican Church in Vanuatu will also attend.

As part of the training, the Presbyterian Church in Vanuatu Gender team will interview a wide range of people from the community to make sure the voices and experiences of women and men, youth, children, elderly and people with disabilities are heard and taken into consideration.

Rebuilding of a women’s hostel and training centre

We can also now confirm that UnitingWorld and ACT Alliance funding will be used to rebuild a women’s hostel and training house – part of a program run by our partner church that supports local women through education and training, mentoring of new mothers and in helping local church communities understand and address gender inequality.

The training house was badly damaged during the cyclone and requires significant building repairs. Completed work will include upgraded sanitation and the important inclusion of a storage facility containing a disaster kit, mattresses and blankets so women in the hostel are fully prepared for future disasters.

Update: 13 April

Three UnitingWorld staff members returned to Vanuatu last week to work with our partner the Presbyterian Church of Vanuatu. They’re helping assess damage and are working toward supporting our education, health and gender programs get back into action. Alongside supporting our church partner, UnitingWorld are working with the ACT Alliance to coordinate relief efforts.

Update: 30 March

UnitingWorld have sent funds to our partner, the Presbyterian Church in Vanuatu to support immediate needs. Three staff members are returning to Vanuatu early next week to support our partner in their ongoing rebuilding and rehabilitation efforts.

Situation Overview:

Source: Vanuatu National Disaster Management Office, Vanuatu Humanitarian Team

166,000 people affected on 22 islands

8,700 children vaccinated against measles

92,000 people receiving food assistance in Efate

15,000 homes destroyed or damaged

75,000 people in need of emergency shelter

110,000 people in need of clean drinking water

With more than 22 islands affected across Vanuatu’s vast archipelago, the delivery of relief supplies in response to Tropical Cyclone Pam remains challenging. Given the logistical constraints of this emergency, ensuring that the logistics pipeline is maintained and strengthened over the coming weeks is critical in ensuring that life-saving assistance reaches people in need. The shipment, logistics pipeline and distribution of stocks are a priority. Governments continue to support the cyclone response with military air and sea assets as well as personnel. The Australian Defence Force, New Zealand Defence Force, the French Military and other military actors continue to play an important role in the response.

The Government, together with humanitarian organizations, has finalized an initial distribution plan, mapping targeted populations by district and listing the quantities and type of food, water, sanitation and health (WASH) and shelter materials required in each province for the next 15 to 20 days.

Tuesday 24th March

Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs:

  • Vanuatu’s President has declared a State of Emergency across all six provinces of Vanuatu.
  • Shelter, food, health and water, sanitation and health (WASH) remain key needs.
  • Half of Vanuatu’s population, spread over 22 islands, has been affected by Tropical Cyclone Pam.
  • 166,000 people are estimated to be in need of food assistance for the next three months.
  • Estimates indicate that around 80 per cent of all evacuation centres could be closed if aid, especially emergency shelter and food, is distributed in communities of origin.
  • Tropical Cyclone Pam has severely compromised the livelihoods of at least 80 per cent of Vanuatu’s rural population.
  • In the highly affected Shepherd Islands, Mataso has been identified as having the most urgent needs.
  • About 57,000 affected school-age children are receiving relief assistance.
  • Rates of malnutrition are likely to increase.

16 Confirmed fatalities, 166,000 People affected on 22 islands, 3,852 eople in evacuation centres in Efate

Friday 20th March

From Jane Kennedy in Vanuatu: Our partner church has a number of buildings being used as evacuation centres. We visited some last night, these ladies have 10 children between them and have lost everything, they have no ability to rebuild. They have been receiving emergency rations and boiling water each morning over a fire. Already skin and other diseases have started breaking out in the evacuation centres as sanitation is limited. Please continue to pray for our partners during this crisis and please give generously to our Emergency Contingency Fund to support our immediate humanitarian response.

women in evac centre

boy in evac centre

 

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Please continue to pray for our partners during this crisis and if you can, please give generously to our Emergency Contingency Fund to support our immediate humanitarian response. A Prayer and Bible passage for communities affected by Cyclone Pam can be found here or prayer can be downloaded by clicking here.

 

Click here to make a secure online donation or call us on 1800 998 122 or post cheques to UnitingWorld Cyclone Pam Appeal, PO Box A2266, Sydney South NSW 1235

Funds raised for this appeal will be used to provide immediate humanitarian relief and for the rebuilding of affected communities  over the longer term.  Any excess funds will be held in our Emergency Contingency Fund and used to respond to future emergencies in the Pacific. All donations are gratefully received. Donations $2 and over are tax deductible. Please click here to read our Privacy Policy