Cyclone Pam tear FUnd's story

On 14th March 2015, Cyclone Pam hit Vanuatu.
  • Vanuatu is the single most vulnerable country in the world to natural disasters, even ahead of Bangladesh and the Phillipines (The Natural Disaster Risk Index (NDRI), released on 27 May by Maplecroft).
  • Cyclone Pam is one of the worst natural disasters in the history of Vanuatu.
  • Highest sustained wind speed of any South Pacific tropical Cyclone – reportedly as high as 320 km/h.
  • Half of Vanuatu’s population of 250,000, spread over 22 islands, was affected by Tropical Cyclone Pam.
  • An estimated 166,000 people were in need of immediate food assistance
  • At least 80% of Vanuatu’s rural population now face severely compromised livelihoods
  • TEAR Fund NZ was quick to respond with a fundraising appeal launched 2 days after the Cyclone. Field staff were deployed on the NZ Defense force Hercules the same day.
  • We were already working with local Partner Nasi Tuan on the Island of Tanna in the agricultural/food security space. Tanna is approx. 290 km from the Efate, the main island – and 500km2 (40km long and 19km wide), home to approx. 40,000 people and active Volcano Mount Yasur.
TEAR Fund team Alice Banfield and Andrew Finlay waiting to board the NZ Defence Force Hercules – Day 2. Both have spent time living on Tanna and have strong connections with the local community.
Jacob Tallah, coffee chairman of Talao Co-op, sits outside the rubble of his home on Tanna Island after Cyclone Pam
Lisa Isaiah, 7 years old, shares her story of cyclone Pam with us.
Her family stand amidst the rubble of what used to be there home.
Lenaken Bilingual School lies in ruin. French teacher Stephanie stands in what used to be her classroom
Yet amongst all the devastation...there is laughter...there is hope...
The Nasi Tuan Team on Tanna. TEAR Fund have a very collaborative relationship with our Partners as we support and work with them in capacity building.

TEARFUND is a member of the Integral Global Alliance. This alliance provides support by way of funding and disaster expertise where it is most needed. Membership support has allowed us to plan not just for immediate response but for longer term risk reduction & preparedness.

The Pacific Islands are of the most vulnerable areas of the world, yet also one of the most challenging due to the geographic spread of people presenting communication and logistical obstacles. TEAR Fund is uniquely positioned to serve this area - with a very loyal donor base, support of the Integral Alliance , strong Christian connections in local pacific communities and a nimbleness evident in our speed of response.

TEAR Fund New Zealand CEO, Ian McInnes At the Nasi Tuan base on Tanna – outside his accommodation! All field staff have to be self-sufficient during a disaster response so as not to take time and resources from the work being done.
Andrew Finlay and Jeffrey Lahva, Nasi Tuan Managing Director.

The strength of Andrew and Jeffrey's relationship is a major factor in enabling and supporting the recovery programme. Andrew speaks the local language and has been working on Tanna for over 10 years, after he first delivered humanitarian aid through a volunteer trip with his church youth group.

Dealing with early challenges of food distribution.
Daily operational meetings with the Nasi Tuan team.
Local churches are a core support structure for faith and community.
Nasi Tuan train communities and work through locally appointed “champions” who ensure that their entire community is on board.
Training by Nasi Tuan in planting techniques and use of nursery boxes. Nursery boxes protecting seedlings from sun, wind and animal pests.
Teaching food preservation techniques.
The grating and storage of Cassava to make flour.
Peanut shelling for packaging, roasting and sale to a local resort. Creating sustainable incomes for the community.
Coffee beans growing. Nasi Tuan has establised a co-operative to enable harvest, drying and marketing of greenbean.
This is what inspires us... helping the people of Tanna help themselves to live full and connected lives. Beneficiaries - Rosaline with her daughters Amelia and Winnie… Martha with her daughter Sonia.
We want our communities on Tanna to be like their national Banyan tree…To have strong roots…To grow…And be resilient.
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