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Digicel appeals for help for cyclone-battered Vanuatu

PHOTO: Tens of thousands of people were left homeless when Cyclone Pam tore through the Pacific nation. (Supplied: Tom Richards)

Port Vila, Vanuatu: Digicel has officially launched an appeal for donations to collect much-needed funds to assist with the relief efforts in cyclone-ravaged Vanuatu. Partnering with Save the Children Australia, Digicel is collecting funds via SMS and online.

The nation of Vanuatu was hit by a category 5 cyclone in the early hours of Saturday 14th March. With winds of up to 340 km per hour, the cyclone caused mass destruction and devastation across much of Vanuatu, especially in the outlying islands. Save the Children is working around the clock to provide food, water, shelter and other basic necessities to the most vulnerable communities – and all monies donated will go towards these efforts.

Promoted primarily on social media, the telecommunications provider is urging customers to stand #TogetherForVanuatu and to donate to Save the Children’s Cyclone Pam appeal by either texting to donate or donating online. Digicel customers can instantly donate $1 by texting into the short code 9222 in Fiji, Samoa, Tonga and Nauru. Non-Digicel customers can also help by donating online at: https://donate.savethechildren.org.au/digicel

Digicel Asia Pacific CEO, Michael Murphy said, “The scale of devastation is significant, there is a real need for assistance and funding now to help the people of Vanuatu get back on their feet as soon as possible. Save the Children has a large presence on the ground and has been working in Vanuatu for almost 30 years. Donations will go towards providing much-needed clean water, food and shelter as well as rehabilitating schools in affected communities.”

“Many houses were literally flattened and families have lost everything,” he added.

Save the Children Australia CEO, Paul Ronalds, said; “Cyclone Pam has devastated Vanuatu, affecting more than 150,000 people, including 75,000 children. Contributions to Save the Children’s Cyclone Pam appeal will help provide life-saving food and water for communities worst affected, as well as shelter, psychosocial support for children and the rehabilitation of schools to get them back up and running as soon as possible. Digicel’s support for this appeal is greatly appreciated.”

The social media promotion calls for support by asking people take a picture or video of them bringing their hands together, cupped around their face to show that they are #TogetherForVanuatu and giving a helping hand. The images or videos should be posted to social media and the person posting then nominates two friends to do the same and donate to Save the Children.  

Digicel Group Limited is a leading global telecommunications provider with operations in 33 markets in the Caribbean, Central America and Asia Pacific. After almost 14 years of operation, total investment to date stands at over US$5 billion worldwide. The company is renowned for delivering best value, best service and best network. 

Digicel runs a host of community-based initiatives across its markets and has set up Digicel Foundations in Jamaica, Haiti, Papua New Guinea and Trinidad and Tobago which focus on educational, cultural and social development programmes.

Digicel is the lead sponsor of Caribbean, Central American and Pacific sports teams and individuals including the world’s fastest man, Usain Bolt and Special Olympics teams throughout these regions. Digicel also sponsors the West Indies cricket team. 

Visit www.digicelgroup.com for more information.