Cyclone Harold devastates Vanuatu

Families are in urgent need of emergency shelter and aid

Image: Dr Christopher Bartlett/VBRC

Devastation in Vanuatu after Cyclone Harold in 2020
Damage caused by Cyclone Harold on Pentecost island and North Ambrym, Vanuatu. Image credit: Betty Toa/UN Women

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

The provinces of Sanma, Malampa, Torba and Penama are most affected.

It is estimated that up to 90% of buildings and houses in Sanma are either damaged or completely destroyed.

Communications are still down in most areas and, coupled with the remote nature of many communities, the full extent of the damage or casualties is still unclear.

160,000 people are thought to be affected.

How are we helping?


Due to the coronavirus pandemic, access to the country is extremely difficult right now.

Despite the challenges, we are currently working with our partner CARE to get much-needed aid to families who are the most vulnerable.

Aid distributions are currently underway. Families are receiving tarpaulins and rope, solar lights and kitchen sets.

We previously supported families in Vanuatu in 2015, when Cyclone Pam wreaked havoc in the country.

Pam had brought winds of 270km/h (170mph) and torrential rain. We responded soon after, providing emergency shelter and aid items to families who were hit badly.

What is a cyclone?

shelterbox aid being unloaded from container in vanuatu

We won't stop

Disasters don’t stop amidst a pandemic, and we don’t either.

As coronavirus spreads, shelter is needed now more than ever before. Imagine trying to protect your family and loved ones from a deadly virus, before a fierce cyclone devastates everything.

Right now, we’re working around the clock with our global partners to reach the most vulnerable families around the world and provide essential shelter and aid.

Your support is crucial in these difficult times – please support our work and help families in crises all over the world.