China’s Ministry of Commerce announced Wednesday that it would provide 30 million yuan ($4.8 million) worth of supplies to aid the island nation of Vanuatu that was hit by Cyclone Pam last weekend. China joined global efforts aimed at helping Vanuatu recover from a storm that left thousands homeless and most of its infrastructure destroyed.
“To express the People’s Republic of China’s condolences and solidarity for the Vanuatu government and its people, the Chinese government pledge 30 million yuan worth of tents, food, power generators and other urgently needed supplies for relief and resettlement,” the Ministry of Commerce said in a statement on its website. It added that the supplies would be shipped as soon as possible, and that the Chinese government was willing to assist in any other way.
The Red Cross Society of China has also offered emergency humanitarian assistance to Vanuatu amounting to $100,000 so far, a Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman said Tuesday, according to Radio New Zealand.
Countries around the world have chipped in to help Vanuatu. The Singapore Red Cross launched an urgent public appeal Wednesday to raise $2.2 million and the Singapore government offered $50,000. Britain and Australia have pledged $2.9 million and $3.8 million, respectively. International humanitarian organizations such as the United Nations, Oxfam and Unicef have responded to the disaster as well.
Australia and New Zealand have sent in military flights bringing in personnel and humanitarian supplies. France and the United States were also reported to be sending in aid, according to Reuters.
Cyclone Pam destroyed more than 80 percent of homes and buildings and left 3,300 people homeless. The official death toll was 11, revised down from the original reported 24 deaths. Officials said the numbers were likely to increase when rescue teams become able to reach many of Vanuatu’s islands left inaccessible as airstrips and piers were ripped up from the storm. Many of the survivors faced food and water shortages, and Vanuatu President Baldwin Lonsdale has expressed pleas for help.