After the severe devastation caused by Super Cyclone Pam, Unicef is advising that Vanuatu will require extensive support to meet urgent needs in water, sanitation and hygiene, including the provision of water containers, purification tablets, soap, and temporary sanitation facilities.  

264,000 people were in the disaster zone when the category 5 cyclone hit on 13th March, and continued over the islands throughout Saturday 14th. 

It is estimated that at least half the population of Vanuatu (132,000) have been affected, of which at least 54,000 are children. 

Unicef is on the ground and responding with emergency supplies and personnel. The next few days will be critical as the scale of this emergency unfolds, but so far we know:

• Safe water supply and distribution has been destroyed for many. This rapidly increases the risk of water-borne diseases. Unicef will supply water kits, water purification tablets, and support for water distribution including for evacuation centres in affected provinces.

• Medical supplies - early estimates suggest that a large number of people have been injured so Unicef will be shipping in medical supplies such as health kits.

• Measles is already present in Vanuatu and any breakdown of sanitation or health systems can be deadly. Unicef is deploying temporary clinics to ensure immunisations continue and health services resume.

• Schools are being used as evacuation centres, so Unicef will need to support children's education, including providing school in a box kits. Children will need protecting with child friendly spaces in evacuation centres.         


Notes to editors:

For further information please visit: 

Unicef New Zealand is maintaining a live blog ( with updates on the ground from Vanuatu and details about our emergency response. It may be of interest for your news coverage online. The embed code is below: 

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For further information and interviews please contact: 

Unicef Pacific 

Alice Clements Communications Unit  +679 992 5606 (Roaming) +678 546 7132 (Vanuatu)  

Fiji (Pacific Islands office) 

• Donna Hoerder, Tel: +679 3236 100, 

• Isabelle Austin, Tel: +679 9925 613  

• Karen B. Allen, Tel: +679 992 5427    

Bangkok (EAPRO regional office)

Andrew Brown, Tel: +66 843 347506  

About Unicef

Unicef is the world’s leading organisation for children, promoting the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.  

Unicef UK raises funds to protect children in danger, transform their lives and build a safer world for tomorrow’s children.  As a registered charity we raise funds through donations from individuals, organisations and companies and we lobby and campaign to keep children safe. Unicef UK also runs programmes in schools, hospitals and with local authorities in the UK. For more information please visit