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Cyclone Pam (Vanuatu) 2015 Appeal

The Cyclone Pam (Vanuatu) 2015 Appeal

The 2015 Cyclone Pam (Vanuatu) Appeal for donations to Vanuatu is now closed.

Red Cross is grateful to the Australian community for its incredible response to the disaster. When we asked people to donate to Vanuatu, people gave more than $6 million to provide humanitarian support for people affected by Cyclone Pam. Over $2 million was raised in a single weekend with the ABC's nationwide promotion. Individuals, governments and businesses have also given generously.

Thanks to Vanuatu donations, Australian Red Cross now has the funds to help thousands of families with emergency shelter, relief supplies, safe water and sanitation, and health care. This represents our contribution to the humanitarian response led by the Government of Vanuatu.

About Cyclone Pam

Cyclone Pam left a swathe of destruction across the Pacific: from widespread coastal flooding in Kiribati, to sea swells that inundated houses in several atolls in Tuvalu, to strong winds and storm surges that damaged fruit trees, crops, homes and water supplies in Solomon Islands.  

Vanuatu was hit hardest: the Vanuatu Government estimates half the country's population - some 166,000 people - were affected by Cyclone Pam. Across the country, 50-90% of homes were damaged, leaving 65,000 people in need of shelter. Food, water and health are ongoing needs. 

Red Cross workers distribute relief supplies sent from Australia. Photo: IFRC

Red Cross is there

As the cyclone approached Vanuatu, Red Cross was helping local authorities to evacuate people to safety. After it hit, Vanuatu Red Cross was the first organisation to begin relief distributions in some of the worst-affected communities.

To date,  thanks to the Cyclone Pam appeal, Red Cross has reached over 12,800 people across 13 islands with relief supplies - including tarpaulins and basic tools, sleeping mats, hygiene supplies, water containers and kitchen equipment.

In the weeks ahead, Red Cross will continue to provide safe drinking water and start restoring sanitation facilities to prevent disease outbreaks. We are also helping reunite families who lost contact when the cyclone hit. Australian specialists in shelter, water and sanitation, health and restoring family links are now in Vanuatu as part of the response.

Red Cross emergency response teams remain active in all parts of the Pacific affected by the cyclone, including Kiribati, Tuvalu and Solomon Islands.

Over the coming months, we will continue to support communities in the Pacific to be ready for cyclones, floods and other disasters, and to have trained emergency response teams, relief supplies and contingency plans in place well before the next disaster hits.

News from Vanuatu

The logistics of aid »
Red Cross is scaling up relief efforts to reach 22 islands in need of aid after Cyclone Pam.

Being prepared saved our lives »
Early warning systems and simple acts of preparation saved Fabrina and her children when Cyclone Pam hit their village.

"When I came back, I found bits of my house scattered everywhere" »
Enia and her family now face the mammoth task of rebuilding their home. 

"Like a monster waking up and shaking our house" »
Jack sheltered 30 of his neighbours in his home when Cyclone Pam hit. Most of them have nothing left now.

Disaster prevention aid a wise investment »
Why it's not too early to be thinking about the next cyclone to hit Vanuatu.

About the Cyclone Pam Appeal

I've raised money for the appeal - when do I need to bank my funds?

Organisers of fundraising events or those who have collected or pledged donations to Vanuatu have until 30 April to send money to Red Cross.

If you have an activity or event and you plan to send in any money or funds after 30 April, please let Red Cross know as soon as possible by calling 1800 811 700.

How are donations from the Cyclone Pam appeal being used?

Funds raised will provide humanitarian support to people and communities affected by Cyclone Pam, including:

  • emergency relief and recovery assistance to affected communities, displaced people and host families in Vanuatu
  • water and sanitation, shelter and health initiatives in affected areas
  • sending specialist aid workers to assist in initial assessments, relief, recovery and longer-term disaster management operations.

Should the donation funds raised exceed the amount required to meet the immediate and longer-term needs of the people in the affected areas, Australian Red Cross will direct the excess funds to disaster management initiatives in the region. Any interest earned on donations will be invested back into the appeal.

Why did Red Cross close its appeal?

Red Cross considers four factors when responding to any disaster: the needs on the ground, our areas of expertise, the agencies and resources already in place, and how we can contribute through our local networks of volunteers and staff.

Our efforts will focus on distributing relief goods, providing safe water and sanitation facilities, helping with temporary and more long-term shelter, and preparing for future disasters. Other agencies may continue to raise funds for further relief and recovery needs.

Cyclone Pam has attracted a significant amount of international support. Acting in partnership with the Vanuatu Government and other humanitarian agencies to avoid duplication, and ensure that funds raised can be spent in a timely, accountable and effective manner, we have decided to close our appeal.

How much is Red Cross taking for administrative costs?

Australian Red Cross ensures that at least 90% of funds raised for an international appeal are spent directly on our emergency response programs. Our appeal and administration costs for international appeals vary depending upon the type and scale of activity, but are never more than 10% of any donation and only cover the directly associated costs in administering and promoting the appeal, such as the toll free inbound phone, postage for mailing receipts to donors, temporary staff if required, bank fees, audit and financial accountability. Should the funds raised exceed the amount required to meet the immediate and longer-term needs of the people in the affected areas, Australian Red Cross will direct the excess funds to disaster management initiatives in the region. Any interest earned on donations will be invested back into the appeal.

Can I donate goods?

Red Cross does not accept or distribute goods donated by the public to communities affected by disasters. This is because we cannot store or transport the donated goods, and it is better to purchase relief items locally or as close to the area as possible.

How can I find out about family and friends?

People concerned for the welfare of family and friends should first attempt to contact them directly.

If the person overseas is an Australian Citizen, contact the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade's 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre on 1300 555 135 (in Australia) or +612 6261 3305 (for enquirers overseas).

A website for concerned friends and family is now live at This site enables people to search through a list of missing persons or find people who have responded that they are alive; register names of persons with whom they have lost contact; and register names of persons who wish to inform others that they are alive.

Can I volunteer in Vanuatu or other countries in the Pacific?

Australian Red Cross does not send volunteers overseas during a disaster or emergency response. In these instances, we would only send trained specialists who have experience working in international emergencies and with Red Cross.

However, we will have 6-12 month financially-supported volunteer assignments in Vanuatu, Fiji and other countries available in the next few months. Find out more.