Integral Members met together by teleconference today to coordinate their response for Cyclone Pam which has devastated the nation of Vanuatu ..
This category 5 Cyclone made landfall on Vanuatu on Friday 13th March evening and Integral Members started to plan and coordinate together within a few hours. An Integral Alert was raised on Saturday 14th March and currently seven Integral Members are actively responding: MAP International (US), Mission East (Denmark), Tear Australia, TEAR Fund New Zealand, Tearfund (UK), Transform Aid Australia and World Renew (US). Additional Integral Members are expected to join the response, supporting with fundraising campaigns, as further information becomes available.
Alice Banfield and Andrew Finlay from TEAR Fund NZ were able to join the NZ Air Force Hercules flight carrying aid for Vanuatu. Andrew has been deployed to Tanna to work with their local partner, while Alice is in Port Vila to connect with the various disaster clusters before going to Tanna. They have been able to keep in touch via a SAT phone and have sent photos and video footage for all Integral Members to make use of. When Alice landed in Port Vila she reports: “We have just arrived on the second Hercules – the sky is blue and it’s looking reasonably peaceful, but at the same time we have not even left the airport and you can already see how massive the destruction is.”
Integral will host its 2nd teleconference later today to further explore how a potential Integral Hub could support this response, enabling Members to reach more people. A Hub could help with assessment of needs and identify gaps in the response, support and strengthen local partners’ responses with technical expertise and help to provide communications materials.
Jan Eyre, Integral’s Disaster Management and Programme Coordinator says, “It was very encouraging on our first teleconference to hear how committed our Members are to exploring how Integral can add value in very practical ways – we, and our operational Members, were offered technical expertise, logistics and capacity building support with personnel ready to leave in the next few days.”