The Salvation Army will today launch the Vanuatu ‘Cyclone Pam’ Disaster Appeal with a significant donation from a prominent Newcastle businessman.
Chairman for the McCloy Group, Jeff McCloy, has spearheaded the disaster relief launch with a donation of $1 million, saying it is a ‘no brainer’ for Australians to stand with its neighbours in their time of need.
“Cyclone Pam has done untold damage to infrastructure in Vanuatu and with Australia being such a close neighbour, we need to do whatever we can to lend a hand,” Mr McCloy said.
“I’m personally committed to this task and I am calling on businesses, individuals, sporting groups and churches across the nation to get behind the Salvos Vanuatu ‘Cyclone Pam’ Disaster Appeal by donating generously. The Salvation Army is extremely experienced at providing support to recovering communities – be that from fire, flood or cyclone. The Salvos can be relied upon to stay with these communities for the long term, which is what I love about them. They stay the course for as long as it takes. Join me and help make a difference.”
Spokesperson for The Salvation Army, Major Bruce Harmer, says The Salvation Army is extremely grateful to Mr McCloy for his significant donation to launch this appeal and for his ongoing support of the work of The Salvation Army.
“The extent of the damage from Cyclone Pam is breathtaking,” Major Harmer said.
“We are hearing heartbreaking accounts of families and communities who have been reduced to nothing. We have even heard some Vanuatuans in desperate situations are being forced to drink salt water in an attempt to remain hydrated, with others attempting to put their lives back together with almost no outside support.”
The international Salvation Army has sent a disaster assessment team to Vanuatu to strengthen and guide local initiatives and the Australian Salvation Army is also in the process of gathering a professional and experienced group together who will engage with the communities of Vanuatu.
Alongside the material damage that Cyclone Pam has caused, there is also the humanitarian disaster unfolding which will require a wide range of interventions from ensuring the basics of life are made available to as many people as possible to the more specialised area of trauma counselling and emotional support that many will need during the recovery phase.