Aid to Vanuatu

The New Zealand Air Force has sent planes to Vanuatu with supplies and people from Red Cross to help after Cyclone Pam caused so much destruction. John Key said the New Zealand government will give $2.5 million to help with the clean-up, and more money may be available after that.

Supplies from New Zealand included tents, water containers, first aid kits, chain saws and other tools, and generators to provide electricity. These are needed for the clean-up.

The cyclone caused a huge amount of damage to homes, shops and schools in all the islands and to the hospital in Port Vila, the capital. Trees fell across roads and heavy rain changed roads into mud tracks. Bridges were washed away. Roofing iron flew off buildings, windows broke, and walls collapsed. Many people have lost their homes. Some schools will be closed for a long time.

Vanuatu is a country of 65 small, inhabited islands, stretching 1,300km from the islands in the north to the islands in the south. This makes distribution of supplies difficult. It is also difficult to know which islands need urgent help. According to the Land Minister, this is the worst disaster in Vanuatu’s history.


• aid (n) – help
• destruction (n), to destroy (v) – completely broken
• a clean-up (n), to clean up (v)
• first aid kits (n) – contain medicines and bandages etc for injuries
• inhabited (adj) – people live on these islands (opposite: uninhabited)

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