Vanuatu and the EU

The European Union responds to Cyclone Harold in Vanuatu

12/04/2020 - 02:19
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12/04/20- Suva, Fiji – Harold made landfall in Vanuatu as a category 5 cyclone on 6 April 2020. In response, the European Union (EU) is releasing € 300,000 in humanitarian assistance to address water, sanitation and hygiene, shelter, food security and protection needs, which will be delivered by the International Non-Governmental Organisation CARE.

An additional initial envelope of € 38,111 from the Disaster Relief Emergency Fund is allocated to the Vanuatu Red Cross Society to assist affected communities. The Copernicus Emergency Management System is also activated to provide Earth Observation Services to contribute to damage assessment. Finally, the European Union Civil Protection Mechanism is supporting France to deliver a humanitarian cargo of tents, shelters, kitchen sets and jerrycans.

The Ambassador of the European Union for the Pacific and to Vanuatu, H.E. Sujiro Seam, said: “As Cyclone Harold left a trail of devastation in Vanuatu, the priority of the European Union is to get affected people back on their feet as soon as possible. The European Union mobilizes its technology to contribute to damage assessment, provides immediate humanitarian assistance through organisations already present on the ground and works together with its Member State France to bring much-needed emergency relief”.


Considered the most powerful cyclone to strike the South Pacific in four years, Harold made landfall in Vanuatu on 6 April 2020, bringing heavy downpour, violent winds and destructive sea swell and forcing 160,000 people to seek shelter across the islands of Santo, Ambrym, Ambae, Pentecost,  Maewo, Malo and Paama and the Malampa province.

The Delegation of the EU for the Pacific and the Emergency Response Coordination Center of the Directorate General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO) closely monitored the impact of Cyclone Harold.

The Copernicus Emergency Management System was activated on 6 April 2020. Data is available here The European Civil Protection Mechanism was triggered and ECHO allocated € 300,000 to CARE for its assistance operations in Vanuatu on 9 April 2020. This assistance will benefit 6,000 people or 1,200 households. An initial envelope of € 38,111 was attributed to the Vanuatu Red Cross Society on 10 April 2020, which will reach 20,000 people.


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