Aid needed sooner rather than later

The Government needs to beef up aid efforts to cyclone-hit Vanuatu sooner rather than later, Labour’s Pacific Island Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio says.

Aid agencies say Cyclone Pam, which veered off its expected course and struck populated areas, has caused "complete devastation".

“Not only have families have lost their homes and power supplies, but roads and other infrastructure have been badly damaged.

“It has been estimated around 80 per cent of homes in Port Vila have been destroyed. That is almost unfathomable.

“I remember only too well the time it took National to finally get its act together to help other Pacific nations following similar storms in the area in 2013 and 2014.

“Certainly the initial $1 million will be helpful but it’s a drop in the bucket compared to what is expected to be hundreds of millions of dollars of damage.”

He said Labour sent its heartfelt thoughts to all those who have lost love ones, and to the wider Vanuatu community.