20 Mar 2015

France steps up aid to Vanuatu

2:38 pm on 20 March 2015

The French president, Francois Hollande, says aid to Vanuatu will be stepped up in the coming days to help the country recover from Cyclone Pam.

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Photo: RNZ

French civilian and military authorities have already sent aircraft and personnel from New Caledonia to Tanna and Erromango which were hit by the cyclone's full force.

The Red Cross and the New Caledonian group, Solidarity Tanna, have managed to get relief supplies onto the frigate Vendemiaire bound for the disaster zone.

The effort is being supplemented by civil security staff from French Polynesia and a 14-strong medical team is due in Tanna today, bringing additional supplies.

A counselling service has also been set up for Vanuatu students in New Caledonia.

In Noumea, a collection point has been set up at the port for people to donate supplies.

Goods being asked to be donated include tools, building materials, cement and hardware.

The Red Cross in New Caledonia has launched a drive to collect household goods, such as bed linen, clothing, hygiene products and non-perishable food.