Vanuatu/ Cyclone Pam: Two Weeks since Cyclone Pam – Distributing Emergency Relief Goods

Provision of clean clothes to the disaster victims 

Association for Aid and Relief, Japan (AAR Japan, which has headquarters in Tokyo, and is led by President Yukie OSA) has dispatched Fukuro KAKIZAWA to Vanuatu, which was hit by Cyclone Pam on March 13th, 2015. He is engaging in emergency relief activities for the disaster victims. AAR Japan distributed clothes to Takara Village, on the east side of Efate Island, on March 26th, 2015. The distribution was decided upon the thorough assessment on Efate Island, where the capital is located, and on Tanna Island, which was devastated. Coordination meetings with other humanitarian agencies from all over the world, including the United Nations, also contributed to the decision.

A mother and daughter from an affected family smile as they receive a bag full of clothes. Fukuro KAKIZAWA of AAR Japan. (Right) (Efate Island, Vanuatu, March 26th, 2015)
There are approximately 300 residents in Takara Village. The village does not have any shelterbelts, so it was severely affected by strong winds. Many houses were completely destroyed. The wind also blew away clothes, forcing parents to dress their children in scavenged clothes that were washed in seawater. It was clear that the victims were living in conditions of poor hygiene. In the meantime, humanitarian responders were reaching out to the affected islands. A dire need for food and construction materials was apparent at first, but governmental and other humanitarian agencies had decided on large scale distributions. Under such circumstances, AAR Japan decided to distribute clothes such as T-shirts and skirts for both children and adults to 56 families (approximately 280 people) in Takara Village, whose houses were completely destroyed.

Vanuatu consists of 83 islands, and ferry services to remote islets have been resumed.   Accordingly, the details of the disaster’s impact have been getting clearer. AAR Japan will continue to collect information and provide relief assistance.

Fukuro KAKIZAWA, AAR Tokyo Office 
KAKIZAWA has been in charge of Afghanistan and Pakistan operations at AAR Japan Tokyo Headquarters from May 2013. He also engaged in emergency assistance for Typhoon Haiyan, which hit the Philippines in 2013. He is 34 years old.
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Japanese-English translation by Ms. Keiko Machida
English editing by Ms. Mariah Gomes

The article on this page has been translated by volunteers as part of the AAR Japan's Volunteer Programme. Their generous contributions allow us to spread our activities and ideas globally, through an ever-growing selection of our reports from the field.