Ni Vanuatu women are leading recovery efforts after consecutive cyclones affect 80% of people in Vanuatu

Commenting on the impacts of Cyclone Judy and Cyclone Kevin, which made landfall in Vanuatu last week and over the weekend, Flora Vano, Country Manager at ActionAid Vanuatu said: “Two major cyclones in less than a week is record-breaking for Vanuatu. We’ve never seen anything like this. The climate crisis has made cyclones like TC Judy and Kevin more frequent, powerful, and deadly.” 


ActionAid Vanuatu are responding to the urgent needs of affected communities through the Women I Tok Tok Tugeta (WITTT) Network. The Network consists of over 5000 women across five islands, including Erromango, Eton, Malo, Malekula and Tanna, who are trained in emergency preparedness and response. 

“Ni Vanuatu women are on the frontlines of this crisis. Before TC Judy made landfall, local women-led early warning efforts played a significant role in preventing loss of life and supporting communities to prepare. We were able to distribute SMS alerts on the incoming Cyclones via the Digicel Network to 40% of the population through the Women Wetem Weta network – a two-way emergency SMS system run by local women leaders,” said Flora Vano. 

In Efate, preparedness efforts led by the Women I Tok Tok Tugeta Network in response to the cyclones enabled communities to secure adequate food supply for 1 to 2 weeks. However, the destructive force of TC Judy and Kevin has caused extensive damage to homes, crops and livelihoods.   

“To avoid a deepening of gender inequality and poverty, long term livelihood recovery support that is targeted at women and other marginalised groups will be essential as communities across Vanuatu seek to rebuild in the aftermath of consecutive disasters,” said Flora Vano.  

ActionAid is on the ground responding to the urgent needs of affected communities, including providing food, water, and dignity kits alongside offering safe spaces for women, girls and women with disability who are at a greater risk of experiencing violence.  

Michelle Higelin, Executive Director at ActionAid Australia adds: “Climate change is bringing more frequent and intense cyclones. Our neighbours in the Pacific will continue to bear the brunt of this crisis until there is a significant increase in global climate finance to support communities to adapt and address climate-induced loss and damage.” 


For more information and interviews with ActionAid spokespeople, please contact: [email protected]

Notes to Editor 

About ActionAid Vanuatu  

Since Cyclone Pam hit Vanuatu in 2015, ActionAid Vanuatu has supported women’s leadership in response to climate change and disasters through the Women I TokTok Tugeta (WITTT) network. The WITTT network provides safe spaces for over 5,000 women to build their knowledge and long-term solutions to the impacts of climate change. 

About ActionAid Australia  

ActionAid is a global women’s rights organisation working in more than 45 countries across the world.We want to see a just, fair, and sustainable world, in which all women enjoy the right to a life of dignity, and freedom from poverty, injustice and oppression. We work to achieve gender equality and to eradicate poverty. 

ActionAid’s response to humanitarian crises is to work with local women and women-led organisations, because they are often able to gain access to the most hard-to-reach and marginalised communities, they have a strong understanding of the local context and are best placed to address the disproportionate impact of emergencies on women and girls.