PORT VILA, VANUATU (25 March 2015) – The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is providing a $1 million emergency grant, as part of a broader $5 million assistance package to the Government of Vanuatu in the wake of Tropical Cyclone Pam.

The Category 5 cyclone tore through the archipelago on the evening of 13 March, 2015 with sustained winds of up to 250 kilometers per hour, causing 11 deaths and widespread damage. Other parts of the region were also hit but not as directly and severely as Vanuatu.

“Cyclone Pam has ruined lives, livelihoods and infrastructure. Providing emergency relief is the first step towards restoring essential services,” said Andrea Iffland, Regional Director of ADB’s Pacific Liaison and Coordination Office in Sydney. “The wider socio-economic impact of the cyclone could be very significant.”

ADB approved the grant under its Asia Pacific Disaster Response Fund. It is earmarked to fund humanitarian and relief efforts, including the restoration of basic social services to affected communities, and is part of a broader program of post-cyclone assistance which ADB is extending to the country.

The Government of Vanuatu continues to manage and coordinate relief efforts across all affected areas, with a consolidated situation analysis report currently being drawn up to guide their work. ADB is also helping the government carry out a damages, losses and post-disaster needs assessment.

ADB, based in Manila, is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration. Established in 1966, it is owned by 67 members – 48 from the region.

Source: Vanuatu Daily News Digest