Cyclone Pam Key messages

A category five tropical cyclone hit Vanuatu in the evening of 13 March 2015, with winds of more than 250km/hr and wind gusts peaking at around 320km/hr.

Tropical Cyclone Pam has affected 166,000 people across 22 islands of Vanuatu. An estimated 15,000 homes have been damaged or destroyed, and 75,000 people are currently in need of emergency shelter. Approximately 60% of the population of Shefa and Taefa have no access to safe drinking water – leaving 11,000 in need of urgent safe food and drinking water to prevent food and water borne diseases.

At present, water, sanitation and health (WASH), medical and shelter supplies are critical humanitarian needs. Getting children back into schools as quickly as possible and re-establishing communication networks are further priorities of the coordinated response.

Disabled Peoples Association of Vanuatu and the Pacific Disability Forum along with the Nossal Institute for Global Health and CBM have put together this fact sheet (word doc above) on the key messages learnt for the inclusion of people with disability in the response to Cyclone Pam.

A number of ACFID members are responding to Cyclone Pam. Given the scale of this disaster, and the need to address immediate needs and to help Vanuatu rebuild, we encourage Australians to donate through those agencies.

How to help: Overseas Emergencies and Public Donations

When a disaster happens overseas, many Australians are moved to assist in any way they can. ACFID highly regards and greatly appreciates the generosity of the Australian public to provide financial and non-financial support during these times. This brief sets out how the Australian public can contribute during overseas emergencies and why cash donations are most often preferable to goods in kind.