SYDNEY, March 15 2015 – We are deeply concerned for the people of Vanuatu in the face of the devastation caused by Cyclone Pam. We are waiting for official casualty reports and stand ready to help.
The World Bank's disaster risk management (DRM) team is monitoring the situation closely. The priority at this stage will be for the humanitarian and relief agencies to provide emergency assistance.
"Our hearts go out to the people of Vanuatu in the wake of the devastation from Cyclone Pam. Vanuatu is ranked as one of the world's most at-risk countries to natural disasters because of its vulnerability and exposure to cyclones," said World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim. "Cyclone Pam is a devastating reminder of the risks of disasters and we will be working closely with the Government to provide any necessary support."
The World Bank Group is now looking at every possible avenue and working with partners to support the people of Vanuatu. Given the intensity of the event and reports of severe damage, the World Bank is exploring the possibility of a rapid insurance payout to the Government of Vanuatu under the Pacific Disaster Risk Financing Insurance Program (PCRAFI).
The World Bank will be available to assist with a post-disaster needs assessment if requested by the Government.