Media release
18 March 2015
For immediate release

Habitat for Humanity is urging an immediate response to provide long-term shelter for families in need following the destruction of homes and communities by Cyclone Pam in Vanuatu.

Habitat for Humanity New Zealand acting chief executive Nic Greene said the organisation needs support from New Zealanders so it can start rebuilding as soon as possible.

“Children cannot flourish and the elderly cannot live well in temporary shelter. The people of Vanuatu need long-term shelter. We need to act now to get them in to homes that will protect them and their families,” he said.

Mr Greene said Habitat is recognised in the South Pacific as the charity which provides shelter and housing for families left vulnerable by disaster.

“Other agencies will do the important work of saving lives in the immediate aftermath of Cyclone Pam. And with its partners, Habitat will do the early recovery work of replacing destroyed homes with simple decent housing that will continue to protect Vanuatu people.”

“We need to act now. This is it – this is the time when Habitat’s global goal of eliminating poverty housing through the provision of simple decent homes is overwhelmingly relevant in the South Pacific.”

“Our aim in Vanuatu will be ‘build back better’ – which recognises that by building new houses to cyclone-standard, we increase communities’ resilience to future disaster.”

Habitat responded quickly following Cyclone Evan which devastated Samoa last year to “build back better”, supported by the generosity of every-day New Zealanders.

“We are the experts in reconstruction in South Pacific disaster zones. Other agencies look to us as the shelter experts – everyone needs a solid home, and Habitat can provide that for the people of Vanuatu.”

Help provide permanent shelter for Vanuatu families
www.habitat.org.nz/donate

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For more information, contact:
Habitat for Humanity acting chief executive Nic Greene, mobile: 027 224 8450.