Anglican Missions launched an Emergency Appeal in May 2017 to support people affected by Tropical Cyclone Donna, particularly those in Vanuatu. Tropical Cyclone Donna, a category 5 cyclone with wind-gusts nearing 300kmh, battered Northern Vanuatu around 8 May 2017. The Government of Vanuatu estimated that at the time of the Cyclone 1,200 people were sheltering in evacuation centres in Torba Province and 1,000 in Sanma Province, both in Northern Vanuatu. Early reports indicated damaged infrastructure and buildings and destroyed crops and food gardens in a country still recovering from the devastation of Tropical Cyclone Pam in 2015.
Government officials, the Vanuatu Red Cross and other response agencies on the ground including the churches have been assessing the extent of damage, however information from the worst-affected areas will likely be slow to come in because boats and planes will not be able to reach some outlying remote islands because of continuing poor weather. These damage and needs assessments form the basis of a coordinated response. Past experience of Cyclones in the South Pacific suggest people will need help to access clean drinking water, safe shelter and food.
Anglican Missions Board CEO the Revd. Robert Kereopa has contacted the General Secretary of the Church of Melanesia, Dr Abraham Hauriasi and is in touch with Bishop Patteson Worek, Diocese of Banks Torres, Vanuatu and Bishop James Ligo, Port Villa, Vanuatu and New Caledonia. We will provide updates on our website as information comes to hand.
Your prayers for the people of the Diocese of Vanuatu and New Caledonia are very much appreciated. If you or your parish would like donate to this Appeal, please follow this link. Any queries do contact the Anglican Missions Office, either by email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone the office in Wellington on 04 473 5172.