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Cyclone Emergency

Cyclones inflict damage without discrimination, disproportionately affecting children and the most vulnerable.    

The growing number of extreme weather events is impacting the lives of children – the frequency, intensity and duration of events like cyclones are having a long-lasting impact. 

On average, the South Pacific region experiences 10 tropical cyclones a year, typically between November and April, but we now see cyclones forming outside of this season. Tropical cyclones can affect the Pacific Islands and coastal regions even when they remain well offshore. When they make landfall, the damage can cause widespread devastation to homes, schools, health centres and critical infrastructure.   

Some of the most at-risk countries, like Vanuatu, Tonga, Fiji, Solomon Islands and Kiribati, are already susceptible to climate change and environmental degradation, exacerbating the effects of cyclones when they hit.   

UNICEF is there, helping families and communities prepare and build resilience in the face of a changing climate. When a natural disaster strikes, UNICEF is on the ground, delivering lifesaving supplies.  

But we can't do this alone; we need your help to ensure essential health, education and child protection services can continue even in the wake of disasters, which are increasing in frequency and severity, and to preposition supplies in the most vulnerable regions.  

Cyclone Emergency

Cyclones inflict damage without discrimination, disproportionately affecting children and the most vulnerable.

Two tropical cyclones and an earthquake destroyed children’s homes and schools in the Pacific Island nation of Vanuatu. 

A young boy learning in a UNICEF-supported classroom after the cyclones of 2023.© UNICEF/UN0820670/Shing

After a primary school on Efate Island (the main island of Vanuatu) was damaged during two back-to-back cyclones that hit Vanuatu in March 2023, students like eight-year-old Phills attended a temporary classroom inside a UNICEF tent.  

On 1 March 2023, Vanuatu was hit by tropical cyclone Judy, unleashing hurricane-force winds that battered the capital of Port Vila and caused widespread destruction to buildings, power lines, and infrastructure. Barely a day later, tropical cyclone Kevin struck the island nation, compounding the damage and leaving a trail of destruction in its wake.   

To add to the devastation, a 6.5 magnitude earthquake was also reported in the country's north.  

UNICEF delivered emergency supplies, including tents, hygiene kits, water filters, water tanks, tarpaulins, recreational kits, school-in-a-box materials, early childhood development kits, and midwifery kits.  

How will my donation help children affected by cyclones in the Pacific Islands? 

  • $90 could help provide 18,000 water purification tablets. Each tablet can create up to five litres of safe drinking water.  
  • $136 could help provide two hygiene and dignity kits, assisting two families in emergencies.  
  • $311 can help provide one school-in-a-box kit so that 40 children can continue their education.

    How do we use each dollar donated?

  • 82¢
    last year, 82 cents went directly to program expenditure and community education, including long-term development and emergency response work.
  • 13¢
    last year, 13 cents covered the essential costs of raising public awareness and fundraising to generate more support for UNICEF’s work.
  • 5¢
    last year, 5 cents were spent on UNICEF Australia’s accountability and administration.

Your gift will support children impacted by this emergency, and crisis around the world. If you choose to donate monthly or should we receive more funds than is needed for this emergency, your gift will support UNICEF's work where the need is greatest. Find out more about our financial management in our annual report.  

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