16 March 2015 – While distributing its pre-positioned emergency supplies in Vanuatu, Unicef also has dispatched additional life-saving supplies for affected communities from its Pacific regional warehouse in Suva, Fiji. This includes health, education, child protection, and water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) supplies.

“The supplies have been packed today and will be airlifted to Vanuatu tomorrow,” Unicef Pacific Deputy Representative, Ms Isabelle Austin said. “Digicel provided a free airlift and volunteers helped pack the supplies through the night at a warehouse in Suva. These include basic health kits, oral rehydration salt (ORS) sachets, zinc tablets, vitamin A capsules, de-worming (Albendazole) tablets, school backpacks with stationery supplies, recreation kits, hygiene kits, water tanks, soap for handwashing, collapsible water containers and water purification tables.”

Government and humanitarian partners are beginning to conduct comprehensive assessments that will doubtless quantify additional needs, especially beyond the city of Port Vila and on other islands. Meanwhile, these supplies are for immediate needs and to address serious concerns about risks to children’s and families’ health and hygiene, as well as children’s learning and psycho-social needs. 

The supplies include five basic health kits with each kit covering 10,000 patients; 1,508 school backpacks with stationery supplies; 31,300 ORS sachets; 330 zinc tablets; 32 de-worming tablets; 69 recreation kits to reach a total of 6,210 children (90 children per kit); 3,000 WASH kits; 200 hygiene kits; 3,000 soaps for hand washing; 5 x 5,000 litre collapsible water tanks and 5 x 1,500 litre collapsible water tanks.

Vanuatu’s international airport - Bauerfield International airport - will reopen for commercial flights tomorrow (17 March). A number of shipping vessels carrying relief items departed for Vanuatu from Fiji on 16 March. Unicef, World Food Programme and other partners are working with the National Disaster Management Office in Vanuatu to set up and run emergency logistics hubs to assure smooth flow of humanitarian supplies in country.

Photos and video footage

Images and videos can also be downloaded from: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/pkxtje8u0mrh0xt/AADt2Go6NBKR30HJDR1FLz_9a?dl=0

For more updates on the ground please visit the Unicef Pacific YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLKIZuPp2cWuWygdPD48tu039JdFfjKCdJ

Edited packages are available here: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/orwcfr881wp4kdu/AAAQisP72EIWFhJ9nKC-sr0ma?dl=0 

Please ensure all videos and images from Saturday, March 14 are attributed to Unicef Pacific/ Humans of Vanuatu.


Notes for editors:

For further information please contact the Unicef UK Press Office on +44 (0)20 7375 6030 or media@unicef.org.uk

Alice Clements (Vanuatu), Tel: +678 546 7132, aclements@unicef.org 

Donna Hoerder (Suva, Fiji), Tel: +679 3236 100 dhoerder@unicef.org 

Andrew Brown (Bangkok), Tel: + 66 2 356 9407 abrown@unicef.org

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 unicef.org.uk