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Cyclone Pam update

Support from All We Can is continuing to help people in Vanuatu to recover from the dramatic impact of Cyclone Pam on this small island nation in March.

The people of Vanuatu are used to tropical cyclones, as they are a frequent occurrence in the south-west Pacific, but what occurred on March 13 was something well out of the ordinary for Vanuatu’s population of around 267,000 people. Cyclone Pam swept through the nation with winds surpassing 300km per hour. The cyclone devastated businesses, homes and farms, with particular damage being done to the southernmost islands of the country.

All We Can responded immediately to the emergency through our ACT Alliance partners in the region and has so far sent £20,000 to help support the vulnerable in the aftermath of the disaster. Over 3000 people have been internally displaced as a result of Cyclone Pam, many more have suffered extensive damage to their properties and farms and the country as a whole is still working to restore communications and road networks. Our ACT Alliance partners estimate that around 166,000 people living on 22 different islands have been affected in total.

The generous donations given to All We Can’s Vanuatu Cyclone Appeal have already been put to use supplying people with much needed shelter, food and clean water. The ACT Alliance response is being coordinated through the Vanuatu Church Partnership Program and over the coming weeks our partners will be working to reinstate water supply systems, secure longer-term shelter for those who lost their homes and to rebuild health and education facilities.

A changing climate?

When Cyclone Pam ripped through Vanuatu its president, Baldwin Lonsdale, was in Japan attending a UN conference on climate change. When asked at the time what he thought of recent environmental events in his country he responded by saying:

“We see the level of sea rise … The cyclone seasons, the warm, the rain, all this is affected …This year we have more than in any year … Yes, climate change is contributing to this.”

Vanuatu, a country usually known for its high level of well-being and its low ecological footprint, is now facing ongoing challenges as a result of this disaster.

Maurice Adams, Chief Executive of All We Can, said: “We want to say thank you to everyone who has supported All We Can’s emergency appeal for Vanuatu so far, and encourage you to keep the country and its people in your prayers, as our partners continue to find ways to address people’s immediate and longer-term needs.”

All images courtesy of All We Can’s ACT Alliance partner, Act for Peace.

About the Author Laura Cook

Laura works for All We Can as the Communications Manager. She is also an internationally acclaimed photographer with a passion for women's rights. She is studying MA in Refugee Protection and Forced Migration Studies in her spare time and lives with her husband Stephen in Essex.

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