Cyclone Pam

Cyclone Pam struck Vanuatu late on Friday 13 March 2015. Save the Children is on the ground, helping children recover from the worst storm to ever hit the island nation. 

Winds of up to 270 kilometres per hour ripped trees and power lines from the ground, and flattened people's homes. Enormous waves and torrential rain caused widespread flooding and cut off entire communities.

The category five cyclone hit populated areas of the country, affecting more than 166,000 people – almost two thirds of the entire population – including an estimated 82,000 children. On some islands, 90% of homes have been destroyed.

It caused widespread destruction of vegetables, root crops and livestock - and the majority of fruit trees have been either destroyed, or completely stripped of all fruit.

The impact on children

Many children in Vanuatu lost their homes. Without appropriate shelter, they are dangerously exposed to the elements, leaving them vulnerable to serious threats to their safety and wellbeing, as well as to diseases such as malaria and dengue fever.

Children are also having to deal with the emotional distress caused by living through an immensely traumatic situation. 

An estimated 400 schools, almost 50 per cent of all school buildings throughout the country, were damaged or destroyed by the cyclone, and learning materials have been lost. Without urgent action, the impact of Cyclone Pam will further weaken the education system and have a devastating long term impact on children.

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How we're helping on the ground

We were on the ground quickly in the immediate aftermath of Cyclone Pam, working hard to provide as many children as possible with life-saving aid including:

  • Food and clean water.
  • Emergency shelter kits containing items such as tarpaulin, nail and wire.
  • Hygiene packs containing items such as jerry cans, soap, and water purification tablets, to keep families clean and free from disease.
  • Restored piped water supplies.
  • Temporary Learning Spaces so children can restart their education.

Since the Cyclone Pam hit Vanuatu, we have reached more than 50,000 people, including 33,000 children.

Please donate to Cyclone Pam appeal

The recovery in Vanuatu will be long, but Save the Children is committed to providing life-changing aid to those affected for as long as it takes – and we need your help.

Please give today to help children recover from the devastation of Cyclone Pam.

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