The Freemasons' Grand Charity has donated £20,000 in emergency aid following the severe tropical cyclone which hit Vanuatu in the South Pacific on Saturday, via the Red Cross.

The cyclone has cause widespread destruction to one of the world's least developed countries. President Lonsdale has appealed for immediate help, saying the storm has "wiped out" all development of recent years and his country would have to rebuild "everything".

According to national statistics 50% of the population are children, and therefore are more vulnerable to diseases.

There has been significant impact on livelihoods, with 13% of people already living below the basic poverty line. Over 80% of the population depend on agriculture for their livelihood. Thousands of people remain homeless and in need of food and water. Infrastructure has been severely affected, with many buildings, roads and bridges destroyed. Communications across the region have also been seriously impacted, with power, phones and Internet still down across much of the country.

The Freemasons' Grand Charity donation is being used towards delivering emergency assistance in Water/Sanitation, Health and Shelter.

Red Cross Response >>