Brussels, 16 March 2015/ ACP: The Secretary-General of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP Group), Dr. Patrick I. Gomes is deeply disturbed and saddened by information received regarding the devastation wreaked on the island nation of Vanuatu in the Pacific region, following Cyclone Pam on 13 March.

The Secretary-General is also gravely concerned by the cyclone’s effect on the neighbouring islands of Tuvalu, Solomon Islands, Kiribati and Papua New Guinea and other countries in the region, and believes this extreme weather event further highlights the challenges faced by Small Island Developing States in terms of their acute vulnerability to natural disasters, and ongoing need to build resilience.

Secretary General Gomes expresses his profound regrets for the loss of lives and destruction, and conveys his deep condolences to families of those who have been killed, injured or made homeless by the disaster and to the Governments of Vanuatu and of the other affected countries in the region.

The ACP Group of States stands in solidarity with the affected communities of the Pacific, and calls for urgent action by disaster emergency and humanitarian agencies to respond with assistance in funding, equipment, personnel, as well as provisions of food, shelter, clothing and other resources.

In the context of the solidarity of the ACP Group, special accounts for voluntary contributions from ACP Member States are also being set up on behalf of the Government and people of the affected countries.

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