home destroyed by cyclone harold vanuatu

On April 6 2020, Cyclone Harold made landfall in Vanuatu as a Category 5 cyclone, bringing devastation to communities in the north.

It was the strongest cyclone to hit the islands since Cyclone Pam in 2015.

Harold destroyed thousands of houses, damaged food crops, and caused widespread power outages. Some communities were completely flattened by the cyclone, with electricity posts broken in two and roofs torn off by the powerful cyclonic wind.

Communities had to use what little building material they could salvage to create storage for their remaining possessions. These structures were too small to use as shelter, so many people had to sleep out in the open.

Man with bags of aid in a boat off the coast of Vanuatu

How did ShelterBox help?

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, access to the country was extremely difficult.

As we weren’t able to send a response team, we partnered with CARE Vanuatu to get much-needed aid to the most vulnerable families.

Families received tarpaulins and rope, solar lights and kitchen sets. The tools and fixings contained in the shelter kits were considered as community tools, which is a usual practice in Vanuatu.

The feedback we received was positive. CARE held a meeting with village chiefs in South Pentecost, who specifically asked CARE to convey their deep appreciation to ShelterBox. Many of the community members said they had almost given up hope of receiving support.