OCEANIA/VANUATU - Church's response plan helps residents in aftermath of cyclone Pam

Thursday, 16 April 2015

Port Vila (Agenzia Fides) - The Catholic Church in Vanuatu, supported by Caritas Oceania agencies, including Caritas Australia and Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand, have been distributing tarpaulins and other emergency aid as part of recovery efforts in Vanuatu following Cyclone Pam. Many in the population are still without shelter, food, medical supplies and water, as the residents struggle to come to grips with one of the largest disasters in Vanuatu’s history.
With support from the Caritas network, the Diocese of Port Vila is leading the Church’s disaster response efforts. Up to 70 percent of the population may have been displaced. An estimated 15,000 homes have been destroyed or damaged with 75,000 people still in need of emergency shelter. In partnership with Oxfam New Zealand, the Diocese of Port Vila is also delivering a Cash for Work scheme for affected families. The Cash for Work scheme is a really important program in encouraging recovery of communities and households whilst promoting the dignity of affected communities to actively respond.
The Diocese of Port Vila is currently finalising the Church network recovery plan which will have a focus on helping communities in Port Vila and outer islands re-establish shelter and livelihoods, while also continuing to improve preparedness in communities to future disasters. Caritas runs programs in Vanuatu and other Pacific Countries to help communities identify those most at risk during disasters, as well as techniques to reduce vulnerabilities and prepare for disasters such as how to secure their homes, store food and emergency supplies and to develop evacuation plans. (AP) (Agenzia Fides 16/04/2015)