In response to the serious emergency resulting from the passage of cyclone Pam in the South Pacific that was especially devastating to the Vanuatu archipelago, causing dozens of deaths and widespread destruction, the Italian Cooperation decided to make a 300,000- euro multilateral contribution to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC).
Italy’s contribution will go toward financing emergency interventions on behalf of the approximately 600,000 civilians (10,000 families) left homeless following the devastation wreaked by the category 5 cyclone, particularly in the area of the capital, Port Vila, where 90% of homes were either damaged or destroyed. A portion of the contribution will be used by the IFRC to send international rescue teams to coordinate activities.
Thanks to Italian funding emergency temporary shelters and water, hygienic and medical supplies will be made available, along with efforts to locate the missing and reunite them with their families. The funds will also be used to support local IFRC risk-training activities.
Today’s decision is a sign of solidarity with the people of Vanuatu who have been so severely struck by this natural calamity, which shows the importance not only of response to but also prevention of natural disasters—a theme currently being debated in Sendai, Japan, at the United Nations conference on reducing the risks associated with natural catastrophes