Cyclone-torn Vanuatu is in desperate need of food, clothing, medicine and basic shelter – and a full recovery operation could cost hundreds of millions of dollars, disaster relief organisations say.
The full scale of the devastation is yet to emerge, but aid agencies are already warning of a dire situation.
Unicef said countless children, already destitute, were now at risk of disease as multiple disasters conspired to bring more misery to Vanuatu.
NZ Tear Fund chief executive Ian McInnes, who heads the New Zealand Disaster Relief Forum, yesterday said Cyclone Pam had ruined crops, threatening food shortages and compounding the humanitarian disaster.
The entire population of one of Vanuatu’s biggest islands faces starvation within days, with 100 per cent of crops destroyed by Cyclone Pam, Unicef officials warned last night.
Up to 80 per cent of the population of Tanna has been displaced
Vanuatu has a population of around 268,000 spread over 65 islands. It is like dealing with “65 simultaneous emergencies potentially,”
Airforces loaded with food, medicines, and water have been dispatched…
My personal recommendation – beef up NZ’s aid contributions and fill HMNZS Canterbury with food and supplies…