1 Apr 2015

A long way to go for Vanuatu schools: UNICEF

9:19 am on 1 April 2015

Today is day three of the 2015 school year after Cyclone Pam in Vanuatu, and at least half of the country's schools remain damaged or destroyed.

UNICEF says it is working closely with the Vanuatu government and other partners to ensure children in Vanuatu have the best access to education and materials as possible under the circumstances.

The Executive Director of UNICEF New Zealand Viviene Maidaborn says help is coming in from across the globe for Vanuatu but it could be months before school returns to normal for many children in the country.

"One of the things that happens is that children can be unsafe. We have learnt over and over again that getting children back to school is a critical success factor in them sort of addressing the psycho-social issues that arise and also recapturing the school habit."

UNICEF is also sending 'back to school packs' to cyclone-affected Tuvalu where a state of emergency is still in place.

Children on Erromango Island, Vanuatu.

Children on Erromango Island, Vanuatu. Photo: RNZ / Koroi Hawkins