More than five days after Cyclone Pam caused catastrophic damage across Vanuatu, thousands of families remain in shelters and many of the 60 inhabited islands are cut off from aid.

Two teams of government, United Nations, and non-governmental organization experts conducted disaster assessment missions to two islands in the southern province of Tafea, finding severe and widespread damage across the bigger islands of Tanna, Erromango, and Efate.

The latest UN Situation Report says shelter, water, food, and the re-establishment of telecommunications remain top priorities.

With more than 3,370 people in evacuation shelters and only 1,400 shelter kits in the country, there is an urgent need for shelter supplies. The UN estimates that more than 12,000 shelter kits and 24,000 tarpaulins are needed.

The UN’s World Food Programme is providing food aid. Initial reports indicate that there are substantial damages to crops, fruits, livestock, and fishing infrastructure.

According to Télécoms Sans Frontières, they are working to re-establish telecommunication networks to support the humanitarian response.

The Vanuatu Ministry of Health, the World Health Organization (WHO), and the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) are deploying vaccination teams to Port Vila to immunize children against measles.

How you can help:

Donate to UNICEF Australia: http://www.unicef.org.au/Donate/One-off-Donation/Cyclone-Pam-Vanuatu-Appeal.aspx

Donate to the UN’s World Food Programme: http://www.wfp.org/stories/vanuatu-wfp-responds-cyclone-pam