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THE SITUATION IN VANUATU
On the evening of Friday March 13th Cyclone Pam, described by the UN as one of the worst cyclones in Pacific history, hit Vanuatu and destroyed entire villages. Throughout the night and continuing on the 14th of March, the category 5 cyclone tore through the eastern islands of Vanuatu with winds of around 270kmh, gusts peaking at 320kmh. Although Vanuatu experiences a regular cyclone season, locals say this is the worst they have ever witnessed.
Despite some aid agencies, such as World Vision attempting to prepare communities for the oncoming cyclone, about half of Vanuatu's population of 267,000 people have been affected by this natural disaster. President Baldwin Lonsdale has said that about 90% of buildings in Port Vila, Vanuatu's capital situated on the main island of Efate, have been destroyed. Reports and photos of the island of Tanna display the impact of the tropical cyclone. Over 80% of homes and buildings are partially or completely destroyed after bearing the full force of Pam. Recent reports state that 3,300 people are taking shelter in 37 evacuation centres.
We like giving and like useful gifts that encourage positive change! The Banzaid website has now opened an online gift shop! We want to give you an opportunity to send a gift of life.
The online gift shop has a selection of gifts for specific needs in Papua New Guinea and Bangladesh. You can purchase a gift for one of our projects in the name of a friend or family member and get a card that you can send to them telling them about it.
For rural communities in Chandpur, Bangladesh, there are practical items such as smoke-free cooking stoves, improved toilets and wells for safe drinking water, giving people opportunities to learn through community seminars, materials for children's schooling. For the coffee growers in PNG there will be seedlings for new coffee bushes and a variety of new crops, also a selection of hand tools.
Buy an Easter gift! The Gift Store is open now. Visit us HERE
Banzaid, in partnership with Marketplacers International Ltd, has submitted a proposal to the New Zealand Aid Programme for funding for the first three years of an exciting new project in the Murshidabad District of the West Bengal State in India.
The Murshidabad district is an area where sex-trafficking is particularly prevalent. Village poverty results in women being trafficked into the brothels of Kolkata. This joint project between Banzaid and Marketplacers International Ltd will reduce the incidence of trafficking from the district by strengthening the local economy and providing employment opportunities. Manufacturing businesses employing 200+ women will be established and mentored. The provision of advice, counselling and advocacy in areas of health, finances, and rights, will further empower the communities, helping build healthy, stable, economically sound village communities.