25 May 2015

Australia adds US$27m to Vanuatu aid drive

11:19 am on 25 May 2015

Australia's foreign minister, Julie Bishop, says Australia will provide an additional $US27-million to support the long-term recovery of Vanuatu from Tropical Cyclone Pam, the most powerful cyclone ever recorded in Vanuatu.

Cyclone Pam caused severe damage to housing, health centres, schools and other critical infrastructure in affected areas, and to Vanuatu's key industries of tourism and agriculture.

Estimates put the damage at a quarter of a billion US dollars.

Ms Bishop says Australia provided an early life-saving package of more than $US7-million, including deployment of disaster response, medical and search and rescue teams.

She says a further $US3.9 million to support Vanuatu's early recovery needs in health, education and food security was also provided.

She says the $US27-million announced will go towards a long-term recovery package, developed in consultation with the Vanuatu Government.

The economic impact of Cyclone Pam has been calculated as equivalent to 64 per cent of GDP.

Vanuatu will need the ongoing assistance of its friends and partners to support its long-term recovery.

Cyclone damage on Tongoa Vanuatu

Vanuatu struggles to rebuild after Cyclone Pam Photo: AFP

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