Cyclone Pam

A category 5 tropical cyclone hit the island nation of Vanuatu in March 2015 and was one of the worst cyclones on record. Around 75,000 people needed emergency shelter and 96 per cent of food crops were destroyed.

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What we're doing

World Vision helps prepare for natural disasters, and when they strike, with food, shelter and medical care. We helped more than 30,000 people after Cyclone Pam.

Our goal

World Vision's Emergency Responders fund disaster preparation including training in evacuation plans and identifying those most at risk.

What happened to Vanuatu?

On March 13, 2015, Cyclone Pam hit the southern islands of Vanuatu. 

With winds of up to 320km/h, it flattened homes, schools and whole villages. It was one of the worst cyclones the country of 65 inhabited islands had ever seen. Eleven people were killed, it directly affected more than 60 per cent of the population and it destroyed about 96 percent of the gardens and farms that the communities rely on for food.

Donations from generous Australians enabled World Vision to provide life-saving emergency relief, and we’re still helping the people of Vanuatu rebuild.

How did World Vision respond?

Thanks to World Vision supporters we have provided relief to children and families in three areas: the provinces of Shefa and Penama, and in the southernmost province of Tafea, where six people died. We worked with the Government of Vanuatu and other aid agencies to reach over 30,000 people, giving them access to much-needed essential household items and life-saving emergency food supplies.

TOP: Elder Tom and Chief John from Waisisi show what is left of their homes and their community; BOTTOM: Nai with three of her six children Marie (14, green t-shirt), Samuel (11, red t-shirt) and Wendy (5, white and pink dress) at a World Vision distribution of tarps, mosquito nets, jerry cans and blankets. Photos: © 2015 Chloe Morrison/World Vision

Food and water

Most of the country’s farms and gardens were destroyed as were the precious supplies of rain water many rely on. Donations  helped World Vision work with the government of Vanuatu and other aid agencies to quickly supply and distribute emergency food supplies to over 30,000 people. This included delivering high-energy biscuits to the island of Tanna and providing a much-needed water purification machine to Efate, the country’s main island.  Some 5400 jerry cans of water have also been distributed.

Joanne, 22, lives in Isaka, a village on Tanna. “World Vision came to our village with food, rice, noodles and canned meat…without it we had nothing left to eat. We had some cassava but it got water damaged and was going rotten. But now our gardens are back again, we have vegetables to eat and some fruit too,” she says.


More than 6300 children on the hard-hit island of Tanna received measles vaccinations to prevent an epidemic. Deworming and vitamin tablets have been issued, as have 2639 hygiene kits containing soap, detergent, toothbrushes and women’s sanitary items.

Expectant mothers are vulnerable after a disaster, so 678 clean birthing kits have been provided to the Port Vila Maternity Unit for distribution to provincial health centres. And thanks to generous donations, World Vision helped repair the water supply of the island’s only hospital.  


How long has World Vision worked in Vanuatu?

World Vision has been in Vanuatu since 1981, and we are continuing to work closely with communities and the Government of Vanuatu to help rebuild.  

READ: Chloe Morrison on Vanuatu's wait before the storm

READ: Chloe Morrison's blog from Vanuatu

Donate to the Cyclone Pam Appeal

World Vision's Disaster Ready Appeal helps us prepare to respond to disasters such as Cyclone Pam. Ten percent of donations to the Disaster Ready Appeal go towards administration costs.

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Nai with three of her six children Marie (14, green t-shirt), Samuel (11, red t-shirt) and Wendy (5, white and pink dress) at a World Vision distribution of tarps, mosquito nets, jerry cans and blankets.

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