Our team meets with government officials in Vanuatu and begins relief effort to protect animals after Cyclone Pam

19 March 2015

Our disaster response team has landed in Vanuatu and is planning our relief operation in cooperation with the National Disaster Management Office.

Tropical Cyclone Pam tore through Vanuatu last week and left whole villages flattened. The first reports coming from our team have re-affirmed that the needs of communities are “unimaginable”. Many of the animals left alive after the storm have been left without shelter, injured and vulnerable.

Cats and dogs in Port Vila

Our first destination upon arriving at the Capital, Port Vila, today was the National Disaster Management Office. After registering, we were immediately integrated into the coordinated relief effort, working in cooperation with the Vanuatu government.

Cats and dogs across the capital were in need of food first and foremost. As the first day of our preparation and planning in Vanuatu came to a close, we were able to provide food for animals in the immediate surroundings. The image above shows our Disaster Response Team Leader for Asia-Pacific, Steven Clegg, feeding Snoopy and Blackie as their family, the Pelam family, busily repair and rebuild their home. This was a common scene across the capital as families recover from the devastation.  

Food running critically short

The full extent of the damage is becoming clearer and it has emerged that food supplies are running dangerously low. The health and safety of livestock animals is therefore paramount to the people of Vanuatu recovering from the impact of Cyclone Pam.

As the only international animal protection organisation working in Vanuatu, our role is central to the entire relief effort. Hundreds of thousands of animals have been impacted by the storm and tomorrow our team will begin deploying to the hardest hit areas.

Working with local partners

As well as working in cooperation with the Vanuatu Government we have made contact with the local animal protection organisation, SAMS Animal Welfare Organisation. We will be working together to deliver veterinary care to animals across the islands using mobile clinics.

When Cyclone Lusi hit Vanuatu last year we were there, working together with the government and SAMS. The relationships we built have enabled us to get straight to work protecting animals.

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"Hundreds of thousands of animals have been impacted by the storm and tomorrow our team will begin deploying to the hardest hit areas."

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