PORT VILA, April 1. /TASS/. The island nation of Vanuatu in the South Pacific that was recently hit by a powerful hurricane thanked Russia on Wednesday for humanitarian aid delivery.
Two Ilyushin Il-76 planes of Russia’s Emergencies Ministry arrived at Vanuatu’s Port Vila airport on Wednesday, delivering over 60 tons of food, including sugar, canned milk, meat and fish, and also portable power generators, tents, blankets and basic necessities.
"This is a great honor for me to accept on behalf of the Vanuatu government and prime minister this cargo delivered for the republic’s residents," Vanuatu’s Minister of Climate Change and Natural Disasters John Bule said.
The minister said the hurricane’s consequences were disastrous for Vanuatu.
"This has become a heavy burden for the Vanuatu government because now we have to deal with such problems as the restoration of schools and hospitals. Financial losses are being estimated," the minister said.
The Pam hurricane that hit the island nation late last week destroyed or damaged about 15,000 residential dwellings, leaving 75,000 people without shelter.
According to data of the Vanuatu government, the Pam hurricane destroyed or damaged up to 90% of buildings and structures and ruined actually the entire agricultural crop.
The Vanuatu government’s major problem today is to deliver food to some islands where about 80,000 people are living, the minister said.
Vanuatu is a small Pacific nation situated on 83 islands of the New Hebrides archipelago northeast of Australia. Vanuatu residents live on 65 islands. The tiny nation has a population of 270,000 people, according to UN data.