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PWS&D responding in Vanuatu.

In the wake of Cyclone Pam, the severe tropical storm that devastated the archipelago of Vanuatu in March, Presbyterian World Service & Development has provided an initial $10,000 in aid, which was deployed in partnership with the Adventist Development and Relief Agency and Global Medics.

The initial relief measures include distributing hygiene kits, water purification systems and food aid as well as latrines and generators for evacuation centres.

"It was clear from the outset that people would need access to clean water as most of their water sources had been contaminated." said Guy Smagghe. PWS&D's senior program coordinator. "It was also immediately clear that Vanuatu would not have sufficient household water treatment systems available locally."

A month after the cyclone, access to food and safe water remain sources of concern. More than 90 per cent of the crops in Vanuatu were destroyed, a devastating blow to a population that relies heavily on subsistence farming. According to the UN, the country faces at least another month without locally grown food since the first harvest from fast-growing crops is likely to be in mid-June.

The Presbyterian Church in Canada has an historic connection to the South Pacific nation. Rev. John Geddie, a Scottish-born minister who served in Prince Edward Island, established a mission in southern Vanuatu (then known as the New Hebrides) in 1848 under the auspices of what was then the Presbyterian Church of Nova Scotia.

An additional $5,200 had been donated by Presbyterians for Vanuatu relief as of April 14. For more on PWS&D's response, visit presbyterian. ca/pwsd.

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Title Annotation:Bulletin; Presbyterian World Service and Development
Publication:Presbyterian Record
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:8VANU
Date:May 1, 2015
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