Press release

Cyclone Harold strikes Vanuatu amid coronavirus emergency

- Climate crisis continues to strike poor nations despite global emissions slowdown

Cyclone Harold, a category five superstorm, has killed at least 27 people in the Solomon Islands and has now struck Vanuatu, which is already in a status of emergency due to the coronavirus.
Christian Aid’s Global Climate Lead, Dr Kat Kramer, said:
“Vanuatu is being hit by a storm of the highest category, the second such in five years. At the same time, the country, like so many others, is in lockdown because of the pandemic. The storm has flattened buildings, making social distancing against the coronavirus harder, while the movement restrictions mean that  aid efforts have been slowed.
“Cyclone Harold has brought a perfect storm of misery for Vanuatu. Along with coronavirus, they are suffering the double disaster of the kind of extreme weather events driven by climate change.  Vanuatu’s people will need support from the international community to recover and rebuild.
“It’s a sobering reminder that although global emissions have been temporarily slowed due to global lockdown measures, the climate emergency continues to strike the world’s most vulnerable people.
“The situation shows how crises can compound each other. Accordingly, as countries come out of the coronavirus crisis, their economic stimulus packages should ensure that they are helping, not hindering, efforts to avert the worst of the climate crisis.”