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Fundraiser for cyclone-stricken Vanuatu

Friday 31 March 2023 | Written by Supplied | Published in Local, National, Regional, Vanuatu

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Fundraiser for cyclone-stricken Vanuatu
A child standing on top of what is left of a house structure following Cyclone Judy in Vanuatu earlier this month. Photo: World Vision/23033014

The Office of the Prime Minister is pleased to pledge its support to a fundraiser for cyclone-stricken Vanuatu, which will take the form of a six-hour radiothon being held on Radio Cook Islands from noon to 6pm today (Friday, March 31).

The radiothon is also supported by Emergency Management Cook Islands, Bank of the Cook Islands, Cook Islands Red Cross and Cook Islands women’s group Kumiti Au Vaine.

It will follow a morning fundraiser involving members of the local Ni-Vanuatu community in Rarotonga, who will be selling plates of barbeque food from Terevete Park between 8am and 12 noon.

In a statement, Vanuatu community leader Ronnie Sakai said: “Funds raised from the radiothon and selling of food will help our communities and families in

Vanuatu who have been badly affected by the two cyclones and recent flooding.”

“It will be put towards building materials, food supplies, and clothing for those who have lost everything, giving them the help they need to rebuild their homes and lives.

“We will also gladly accept donations of food from our Cook Islands communities, so anyone who is willing to donate a carton of chicken, chops, greens or anything for the food fundraiser, you are most welcome and all donations are very much appreciated.”

Vanuatu was hit by two category-four tropical cyclones earlier this month, with Cyclone Judy making landfall on March 1, followed by Cyclone Kevin on March 3. Wind speeds were reported as reaching up to 200 km/h at the storms’ peak. Also on March 3, a 6.5 magnitude earthquake struck northern Vanuatu, just off the coast of the country’s largest island, Espiritu Santo.

Cook Islands PM’s Office in a statement said the effects of both storms and the earthquake resulted in widespread damage across the island nation, causing flooding and high swells, uprooting trees, destroying homes and other buildings, and leaving thousands of residents without electricity or running water.

“Water, food and clothing is what is needed most right now, with Vanuatu Red Cross reporting that access to adequate shelter is also a priority. Whatever aid and assistance that we in the Cook Islands can provide to our fellow Pacific nation will of course be gratefully accepted by the Vanuatu community.”

Prime Minister Mark Brown added: “As a small island state, we fully understand how far Vanuatu’s resources will be stretched in responding to this disaster and I encourage Cook Islanders to contribute in whatever form they can.”       

Food plates can be pre-ordered by calling or texting 73179, or by going online at http://www.cookisland.online/tauturu/vusupport/bbqplate.html.

For the radiothon, the number to call is 20100, or you can also go online to pledge a donation at http://www.cookisland.online/tauturu/vusupport/pledge.html