Relief effort under way in cyclone-hit Vanuatu

News and Press Release
Originally published
From Federation News 05/04
The Vanuatu Red Cross is carrying out a major relief programme, after the small Pacific nation was hit by Cyclone Ivy on 26 February. The cyclone, packing winds of 130-150 kph, caused significant damage, especially in northern and central islands, with an estimated 24,000 people made homeless or seriously affected, and one death reported to date. Vanuatu Red Cross interim chief executive, David Neal, said the Red Cross had been active on the main island of Efate since Thursday, and has despatched 400 family kits from existing disaster preparedness stocks to the island of Paama, where a reported 90 per cent of the population is affected. Each kit contains tarpaulins, water tablets, water containers, kitchen utensils and hygiene kits. The head of the International Federation's delegation in the Pacific, Leon Prop, says the need for support will continue over coming weeks. "Our immediate priority will be to provide a further 2,000 family kits to cover housing and shelter needs for affected people, with the support of the donor community," he said. The Red Cross operation is being supported by the governments of Australia, France and New Zealand as well as the New Zealand Red Cross.