While much of the world has focused on COVID-19 this month, YachtAid Global was watching Tropical Cyclone Harold. It caused widespread damage in the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Fiji, and Tonga. Since the non-profit organization has yachting ties in Vanuatu, it launched Operation Nasama, a fundraising effort where all donations will provide supplies and relief directly in the country.
The Category 5 cyclone battered Vanuatu for two days, starting on April 6, destroying homes and buildings. It was one of the strongest storms ever to hit the multi-island nation, too. Gusts reportedly exceeded 186 mph (300 kph). More than 159,000 people are without power, homes, crops, and more.
Complicating matters, the government has a travel ban in place among Vanuatu’s 83 islands, to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Social distancing is mandatory, too. Due to these restrictions, YachtAid Global isn’t coordinating the arrival of megayachts, as it usually does as part of its crisis-response efforts. Instead, it is acting as a communications and funding outlet through Operation Nasama. (“Nasama” is the native word for Vanuatu’s outrigger canoes.)
The funding will help provide a variety of needs as directed by the Vanuatu National Disaster Management Office. For example, medical supplies, hygiene products, food, water, and shelter supplies may all be needed. YachtAid Global launched Operation Nasama in conjunction with four yacht-support agencies and a non-government organization. Specifically, the yachting companies include Port of Call Vanuatu and SEAL Superyachts, each in Vanuatu; Yacht Help Fiji in Fiji; and Noumea Ocean, located in New Caledonia. The non-government agency is Fruit of the Pacific. Based in New Zealand, it’s a charitable trust that educates and mentors seasonal migrants to develop skills beneficial to their home communities’ development upon their return home.
YachtAid Global has a secure payment gateway for Operation Nasama.
YachtAid Global has coordinated relief efforts in Vanuatu in recent years. It put out a general request for assistance following Cyclone Pam in 2015. The motoryacht Dragonfly stepped up quickly.
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