Tokyo, Japan – The Government of Japan has pledged US$600,000 to UNICEF to assist children and families affected by Cyclone Pam in Vanuatu, Kiribati, the Solomon Islands and Tuvalu.
The Pacific Island Countries affected by Cyclone Pam need immediate assistance for children and their families. UNICEF is delivering support from Japan in the areas of health, WASH and Education.
In Vanuatu, Japan’s contribution supports UNICEF to provide health assistance, including the re-establishment of vaccine cold-chain capacity at a time when communities face increased risk of infectious disease outbreak following the cyclone.
It is estimated that about 166,000 people or more than half of the population have been affected by the cyclone; and around 82,000 children are in need of humanitarian assistance.
Over 60% of health facilities have been damaged, exacerbating the already weak delivery of maternal and child health services.
In Kiribati and the Solomon Islands, UNICEF is providing the affected population with WASH supplies such as water containers, and raising awareness on hygiene, aiming to ensure access to safe water for the affected populations.
These countries are suffering from acute water shortages because water, sanitation and hygiene facilities have been destroyed and water sources have been contaminated.
In Tuvalu where the government has declared a state of emergency for the whole country, the Japanese contribution will be used for UNICEF’s early recovery interventions to restore access to educational opportunities.
UNICEF provides back-pack school supplies kits and teaching materials for their teachers. The first delivery of student backpacks and school supplies has already been procured with Japan’s contribution and delivered to Funafuti, Tuvalu on Sunday 29 March.
UNICEF Pacific Representative Dr. Karen Allen says “This generous donation from Japan will save lives and help children to recover from this terrible disaster. Japan’s assistance and friendship at this time is greatly appreciated by UNICEF and the children of cyclone-affected Pacific countries.”