Vanuatu

OUR WORK IN VANUATU

our impact

  • 3 projects
  • 46 partners
  • 52,798 people helped

Quick facts

  • 272,264 people
  • 16% living on less than USD $1.25/day
  • 9.3% don’t have access to safe water

Ni-Vanuatu society is founded on strong family and kinship networks. Traditionally these strong family ties, together with the church, provide a social safety net for the most disadvantaged and vulnerable.

Hardship, however, is widespread. The World Risk Index rank Vanuatu #1 exposed country in the world to natural disasters including earthquakes, cyclones and volcanic eruptions. The impact of natural disasters is set to worsen with rising sea levels. The country is experiencing the slow onset of a changing climate affecting crop production and extreme weather conditions. Events such as Cyclone Pam, combined with economic shocks further impact on people’s livelihoods.

Oxfam is working to reduce structural barriers and inequalities that constrain the opportunities and voice of women, young people and people with disability. Overall, our aim is to increase resilience and wellbeing in Vanuatu.

Key areas of work

Effective Leadership and Governance, Resilience and Disaster Response, Sanitation, Gender Equity and Sustainable Livelihoods.

One story of change

Anny James (38) contemplates Tropical Cyclone Pam, climate change and the super El Nino dry spell that is impacting Vanuatu; in particular, what this means for her garden. Photo: Arlene Bax/OxfamAUS

On the night Cyclone Pam hit, Anny James was taking shelter inside her home in Epau village with her parents and three children. They listened in horror as scraps of corrugated iron and tree branches flew around outside, crashing into their neighbours’ homes and battering their small shelter.

Suddenly, Anny’s front door was ripped right off its hinges.

“We took our kitchen cupboard and pushed it up to the doorway,” she says. “I told my children that we have to go under the bed. We have just one bed — one single bed — so we squeezed ourselves under.”

The next morning, when the wind died down and everything was quiet, the family walked outside to find total destruction.

“It felt like we were on another world,” Anny says. “There [was] a big cry on Saturday morning. Families were crying, because most of us lost everything; all our belongings.”

The storm damaged or destroyed around 15,000 homes across Vanuatu that night and decimated more than 90% of food stocks in some communities. However, through the tremendous work of our country team in Vanuatu’s capital, Port Vila, Oxfam was one of the first agencies to reach communities desperately in need of humanitarian assistance in the days and weeks following the cyclone.

“We are so lucky because Oxfam [gave] vouchers for us,” Anny says. “Most of the community went to buy tools so they could start gardening again. We also bought seeds. “Oxfam helped the community, [especially] the widows, single mothers and orphans,” Anny says. “They helped clean up the village and replant trees around the coastal areas.”

See Oxfam’s current response to Cyclone Pam.

HOW YOU CAN HELP

image description

We know the best way to fight poverty and injustice is to help people help themselves. Change the lives of vulnerable communities in Vanuatu and around the world today.

image description

Australia’s overseas aid budget has suffered from successive cuts. Join the movement of Australians standing up for Australia’s life-changing and life-saving aid program.

image description

You can support Oxfam’s life-saving work by holding your own fundraiser or charity event and starting the conversation about poverty and injustice around the world.