Cyclone Pam tore through the Pacific in March 2016 leaving a trail of destruction. Three countries were hit including the Solomon Islands, New Caledonia and Vanuatu where more than half the population was affected and 96% of the food crops destroyed.
In Vanuatu, where most of the population relies on subsistence farming, this was a major disaster. Tens of thousands were left homeless and in need of food, water and shelter. A Category 5 cyclone, Pam packed winds of more than 250 kilometres an hour. 75000 peope needed emergency housing and almost everyone needed food aid and support to replant their crops. the southern provinces of sheaf and tafea were the most seriously damaged and include remote islands around the archipelago. The capital of Port Vila was also affected.
Prior to the cyclone season, we had pre-positioned several deployees in e pcific to asist national governments in their disaster-preparedness. As a result, three of our people were in Port Vila when the cyclone struck and were able to respond immediately. they were pivotal to the response in the early stages of the emergency.