The Pacific Islands: Tropical Cyclone Harold - Situation report May 2020

The Pacific Islands: Tropical Cyclone Harold - Situation report May 2020
May 2020
  • Severe Tropical Cyclone Harold struck the Pacific Island countries of Solomon Islands, Fiji, Vanuatu and Tonga in April 2020, causing the most significant damage in Vanuatu and Fiji.
  • In Vanuatu, Tropical Cyclone Harold impacted an estimated 176 161 people (65 percent of the total population), destroyed crops and cut many communities off from support due to flooding and destruction of roads.
  • Extensive damage to staple crops across Vanuatu has been reported in a recent assessment, demonstrating that food security is a major concern for all affected provinces.
  • FAO is collaborating with the World Food Programme (WFP) and the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) to lead the regional Pacific Food Security Cluster to assess the food security and nutrition situation and share information, building a coherent and coordinated response to the impacts of Tropical Cyclone Harold and restrictions put in place, including border closures, in response to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.
  • FAO urgently requires USD 3 million to assist 159 817 people to rapidly respond to the impacts of the Cyclone in Vanuatu by supplying agricultural inputs (seeds and tools) and building the capacity of crop and livestock subsistence farmers and fisherfolk to protect and restore food availability and livelihoods. Facilitating replanting before the dry season begins is essential as missing this time critical window will create unsurmountable barriers to farming households to meet their food needs or restore their livelihoods and maintain their dignity and self-reliance, ultimately prolonging the need for expensive and unsustainable humanitarian assistance.

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