UNICEF Fast Facts: Cyclone Pam: One Year On (March 2016)

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Cyclone Pam hit the Pacific in March 2015, affecting Kiribati, Tuvalu, the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu. The worst impacts were felt in Vanuatu, where Cyclone Pam made landfall between 13-14 March at Category 5 strength, with wind gusts up to 320kph.

In Vanuatu an estimated 166,000 people (2/3rds of the population), including an estimated 82,000 children, required urgent humanitarian assistance. The cyclone destroyed or damaged homes and livelihoods across 22 islands and also caused significant damage to public infrastructure. People needed immediate assistance for clean water, food, shelter, healthcare and psycho-social care.

The President of Vanuatu declared a State of Emergency and UNICEF initiated a Level 2 Emergency response, supporting an escalated response from UNICEF Pacific and partners. By May, the immediate response had shifted to a prolonged period of recovery and resilience building.

This following provides a summary of key results achieved by UNICEF for affected children and communities in Vanuatu in the last year.


• 152,845 people, including 46,791 children and 106,014 adults, were registered through a nationwide mobile birth registration campaign.

• Psychosocial support was provided through partnerships with the Ministry of Youth Development,
Sports and Training, Ministry of Justice and Community Services, and the UNICEF-supported Just Play programme. This included training Ministry focal points on child protection in emergencies and training 1,272 service providers (561 women, 711 men), teachers, faith-based organisation staff and youth leaders on child protection in emergencies and psychosocial support.

• Community theatre performances supported community awareness raising on child protection issues among leaders, parents, caregivers and duty bearers.

• 10,602 children and adolescents were supported to access safe spaces for trauma relief and psychosocial recovery through the Ministry of Youth, Sports Development and Training and the UNICEF-supported ‘Just Play’ Sports for Development initiative.


• UNICEF supported early childhood and primary education in two of the most affected provinces.
Education in emergency supplies, including temporary learning spaces and school offices, schoolin-a-box kits and recreation kits, were provided to 32 primary schools (70 per cent of affected schools), benefiting 34,210 children.

• UNICEF supported Vanuatu’s Ministry of Education and Training to develop and distribute books for young children and parents on the provision of psychosocial support and disaster risk reduction.

• 5,017 (including 2,720 girls) pre-school and primary school children gained access to psychosocial support after training of 2,035 teachers.


• Vanuatu experienced a measles outbreak several months prior to Tropical Cyclone Pam. With one of the lowest immunisation coverage rates in the Pacific, vaccination campaigns were needed to protect children. A total of 128,012 children were vaccinated against measles, along with the provision of vitamin A and deworming tablets. Of this number, 103,676 children were also vaccinated against rubella.

• 32,655 children received oral polio vaccine.

• 9,538 caregivers received nutritional counselling and support to avert moderate and severe acute malnutrition in young children. 13,241 children received micronutrient supplementation and 2,191 especially vulnerable children, received high-energy biscuits.

• Replacement and/or repair of damaged cold chain equipment in affected health facilities, including refurbishment of the National Vaccine Storage Facility.

• Provision of emergency health services and essential maternal and newborn care, including restocking of health facilities and a health office, and provision of four solar-powered kits to assist in childbirth.


• 51,324 people were supported to access clean, safe drinking water through emergency water supply by water trucking and shipping, emergency repairs to water systems, rehabilitation of water sources, provision of household water treatment and safe storage supplies and water testing. This included provision of safe water, sanitation and hygiene facilities in temporary learning spaces and schools.

• 42,885 people received gender-sensitive sanitation and hygiene supplies.

• 107,353 people were reached with WASH-related guidance and advice.