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Tear Fund En Route to Vanuatu to Provide Relief

Tear Fund En Route to Vanuatu to Provide Relief From Cyclone Pam

TEAR Fund Programmes Officers Alice Banfield and Andrew Findlay are currently en-route to Vanuatu to assist TEAR Fund’s partners in providing emergency aid to affected communities.

A state of emergency has been declared since Vanuatu was hit in the early hours of March 14th, with winds of over 300kmh causing widespread destruction to infrastructure and food crops. Ten people have been confirmed dead so far and 30 injured, and these numbers are expected to rise.

The southern island of Tanna has been especially hard-hit where virtually every non-concrete building has been flattened.

Alice Banfield and Andrew Finlay have been working with communities on the island of Tanna for the last five years, including providing emergency relief when Cyclone Lusi hit last year. Both say they are concerned for our partner Nasi Tuan whom they have been unable to contact, and are worried about the massive task of recovery ahead.

“I am very worried that the cyclone has undone all of the progress achieved since Cyclone Lusi last year. It will take significant steps of recovery to get communities to a place where they can be self-sufficient again ” says Miss Banfield.

TEAR Fund CEO and Chair of New Zealand’s Ngo Disaster Relief Forum, Ian McInnes, says we are liaising with the National Disaster Management Office in Vanuatu, which will advise what aid is needed and where.

“Vital to recovery is planting new crops to ensure a steady food supply”, said Mr. McInnes. “Firstly, vegetables and other food crops grown on the island, and secondly cash crops such as peanuts and coffee. Our team will be working on the ground to help provide agricultural stability.”

TEAR Fund has been working with communities on the Island of Tanna to be disaster-ready through emergency response training, the drying and storage of emergency food supplies and water collection to help see them through until food aid arrives.


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