The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), has received another large shipment of essential emergency supplies worth more than US$1 million for cyclone-affected families and communities in Vanuatu.
The shipment containing education, water, sanitation, hygiene and health supplies, was airlifted from UNICEF’s Global Supply Centre in Copenhagen, Denmark to Noumea in New Caledonia and then shipped to Port Vila in 10x 40-foot containers.
“These supplies will be dispatched as soon as possible to families, schools and health facilities affected by Cyclone Pam almost four weeks ago. UNICEF is working closely with the Government of Vanuatu and UN and NGO partners to ensure that these essential supplies are well targeted to reach those that are most in need,” UNICEF Pacific Representative, Dr Karen Allen said.
More than 166,000 people, including 82,000 children, were affected by Category 5 Tropical Cyclone Pam when it wreaked havoc on the South Pacific archipelago. Access to clean water, sanitation and hygiene, as well as resources to repair damaged water systems, were among the first priorities identified in rapid assessments, along with emergency medical services. Since the end of March, getting children back to school in a safe, protected environment, with water and sanitation as well as access to psycho-social trauma services, is an additional priority. UNICEF is also working to ensure the provision of mother, baby and child-friendly health services, including vaccinations, nutrition surveillance and counselling, adequate medicine and other supplies for services.
In the immediate days following the cyclone, UNICEF supplied an initial US$1 million in supplies that were pre-positioned in Port Vila and Fiji, including vital education, health and water and sanitation supplies, to families, communities, schools and health facilities to help them cope with the aftermath of the cyclone.
This included supporting the return to school of more than 20,000 children by providing safe and temporary learning spaces as well as essential education supplies for teachers and students. More than 10,000 children were vaccinated against measles, polio and tetanus in a 10-day period while another 70,000 people will benefit from access to safe water, sanitation facilities and improved hygiene practices.
“This new shipment of supplies will allow us to continue to support ongoing humanitarian response as well as early recovery efforts through various channels, guided by up-to-date information on where there are continuing needs and gaps” added Dr Allen. “The strong coordination of NDMO, and Government Ministries coordinating for Health, Education, WASH, child protection and public infrastructure has been essential in guiding our support and response. We have more than doubled the size of our team in Vanuatu and plan to continue to monitor, coordinate and cooperate with all humanitarian partners, including the Post-Disaster Needs Assessment and follow up action plans. Our recovery support will integrate measures to “build back better”, strengthening resilience and mitigating the impact of future natural disasters," said Dr Allen.
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere. For more information about UNICEF and its work visit: www.unicefpacific.org
For further information, please contact: Noreen Chambers, Communication Officer Tel: +678 5471473 Email: email@example.com
Donna Hoerder, Communication Specialist Tel: +679 926 5518 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org