How is Tearfund Responding?

Tearfund will work in collaboration with Act for Peace and through implementing partners Nasi Tuan and Vanuatu Christian Council in the areas of health, psychosocial support and food security.

This response will target a minimum of 960 households through distribution of critically needed mosquito nets, provision of psychosocial support, and delivering food preservation and agricultural/nutrition training. This will include the following:

• 960 households receiving food preservation and agricultural/nutrition training

• 800 people accessing psychosocial support group sessions run by trained volunteers.

• 500 vulnerable households receiving mosquito nets.

Psychosocial support services: A rapid gender analysis in Vanuatu has highlighted the increased stress in families after a disaster and the potential for family based violence to increase on top of already high levels in Vanuatu.

Mosquito nets: Our Church partners have identified mosquito nets as a key gap not being addressed by others. The potential for mosquito based vectors to spread after a cyclone is high due to increased breeding sites and people sleeping in temporary shelters or within close proximity. Also, Southern Pentecost has a high transmission rate for malaria.

Food preservation and agricultural/nutrition training: Food security is an issue for affected areas with the majority of gardens destroyed. Waterlogging due to heavy rain during and after the cyclone means that many root crops will have to be harvested quickly. This provides an opportunity to preserve local foods for later use, which will supplement food distributions of imported food items. There is also need to quickly plant vegetables and quick cycle plants such as kumara before the dry season approaches. This will improve food security in the medium term.


Images of Cyclone Devastation

These photos were shared with us by Sailini Hausia Havea and Sioto Fine from Tonga and Morris Mera from Vanuatu.

“Every house in the village has been destroyed and only the church house remains”.

-Jeffrey Lahva, Director of the Nasi Tuan project in Vanuatu

Our programmes team spoke with Jeffrey who is leading Tearfund's efforts in Vanuatu.

"This is a disaster layered on top of another disaster. Due to the COVID-19 state of emergency, some people had already lost work. However, most people are still reliant on their gardens for livelihoods. Houses would have been affected but the biggest concern will be the gardens. The cyclone would have decimated banana and cassava crops, which people are reliant on while they wait for the yam harvest later in the year. I have heard reports that Harold was slow-moving and caused a lot of flooding.

This is concerning because roots crops in low lying areas are likely to be ruined by waterlogging (crops such as yams and taro which people would have planned to eat in the coming months). Recovery will be slow and people will struggle for months to come. I have also heard some reports from my wife's family is in a different area in Central Pentecost. They reported that every house in the village has been destroyed and only the church house remains. Their water source is also unusable and their gardens are wiped out."

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