Vanuatu/ Cyclone Pam: Two Weeks since Cyclone Pam – Distributing Emergency Relief Goods

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Provision of clean clothes to the disaster victims

Association of Aid and Relief, Japan (AAR Japan, which has headquarters in Tokyo, and is led by President Yukiko OSA) has dispatched Fukuro KAKIZAWA to Vanuatu, which was hit by Cyclone Pam on March 13th, 2015. He is engaging in emergency relief activities for the disaster victims. AAR Japan distributed clothes to Takara Village, on the east side of Efate Island, on March 26th, 2015. The distribution was decided upon the thorough assessment on Efate Island, where the capital is located, and on Tanna Island, which was devastated. Coordination meetings with other humanitarian agencies from all over the world, including the United Nations, also contributed to the decision.

There are approximately 300 residents in Takara Village. The village does not have any shelterbelts, so it was severely affected by strong winds. Many houses were completely destroyed. The wind also blew away clothes, forcing parents to dress their children in scavenged clothes that were washed in seawater. It was clear that the victims were living in conditions of poor hygiene. In the meantime, humanitarian responders were reaching out to the affected islands. A dire need for food and construction materials was apparent at first, but governmental and other humanitarian agencies had decided on large scale distributions. Under such circumstances, AAR Japan decided to distribute clothes such as T-shirts and skirts for both children and adults to 56 families (approximately 280 people) in Takara Village, whose houses were completely destroyed.

Vanuatu consists of 83 islands, and ferry services to remote islets have been resumed. Accordingly, the details of the disaster’s impact have been getting clearer. AAR Japan will continue to collect information and provide relief assistance.