6th April 2016
In March of 2015,Vanuatu was lashed with one of the most powerful cyclones to ever hit the Pacific. Cyclone Pam left 75,000 people homeless and killed at least 15. One year on, Vanuatu is slowly getting back on its feet, yet the nation still faces some challenges.
When Cyclone Pam struck Vanuatu, none of the islands in the archipelago were spared from the wind gusts that reached up to 320 kilometres per hour. Despite houses and structures being torn apart, thankfully there was a surprisingly low loss of life.
This was not the first time the people of Vanuatu had experienced a cyclone, and their ability to bunker down and survive these storms is almost innate. While the people of Vanuatu survived, unfortunately their subsistence crops did not. The lands were decimated and it was estimated that 90 per cent of Vanuatu's crops were lost.
This put the financial toll of the cyclone at $590 million, over half of the country's annual GDP, and a huge loss for a small island nation that relies on its crops and tourist trade. As if this wasn't enough, an El Nino- driven drought affected a number of Melanesian countries, including Vanuatu.
This drought compounds the destruction caused by Cyclone Pam as water sources are scarce and crops cannot survive, forcing residents to continue to survive on aid organisation food handouts. On the one year anniversary of the cyclone, Vanuatu continues to receive post-cyclone and drought assistance, even as other disasters strike the Pacific.
One of the most popular Pacific holiday destinations with Australian travellers, many people want to know how they can help the beautiful people of Vanuatu. With all of the major tourist areas back up and running as usual, the best way you can help get Vanuatu back on its feet is to book a holiday. Vanuatu holiday packages are the best way to go, as these not only include your flights and accommodation, they also include everything from transfers to tours and more, contributing to the country's economy and the locally operated tour businesses and their families.