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UN gives cyclone-ravaged Vanuatu $A3.9 m

The United Nations has released $A3.9 million from its emergency humanitarian fund to help thousands of people in Vanuatu, affected by Cyclone Harold.

The cyclone made landfall on the largest island in Vanuatu, Espiritu Santo, on April 6 before hitting the Solomon Islands, Fiji and Tonga. The UN cited media reports saying the storm left more than two dozen people dead, and destroyed homes, buildings and crops in the four countries.

UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said Sunday that Secretary-General Antonio Guterres expressed “deep solidarity with the people of the Pacific as they face the impact of this cyclone along with other climate-related challenges, as well as the coronavirus pandemic, which adds a worrying new dimension to existing vulnerabilities.”

UN humanitarian chief Mark Lowcock, who announced the release of the funds for Vanuatu on Monday, said: “Thousands of people urgently need shelter, water and food to survive.”

He said it was especially important to support Vanuatu at a time when “the COVID-19 pandemic touches us all,” adding that the UN aid will help the country rebuild which is essential if it is to successfully fight the virus.

Originally published as UN gives cyclone-ravaged Vanuatu $A3.9 m

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