Around three-quarters of people in Vanuatu live in rural areas, and are dependent on subsistence farming. Vanuatu has a young population, but the limited opportunities for young people means they are increasingly vulnerable to poverty and health problems.

Oxfam's work in Vanuatu is supporting a wide variety of services to improve the lives of people living in rural communities, including the expansion of vocational skills training for young people, and improving access to a sustainable clean water supply and safe sanitation.

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Cyclone Pam response

Donate to Oxfam's Cyclone Pam emergency response

In March 2015 Tropical Cyclone Pam ripped through Vanuatu, Tuvalu and Kiribati with winds up to 330kph. It was billed as the worst storm ever to hit the Pacific. 

Homes were flattened, crops and food destroyed, and fresh water supplies decimated. Oxfam’s emergency response began immediately, ensuring survivors had clean water, hygeine kits and shelter. The response has now shifted to help people rebuild their lives and livelihoods. 

We have provided life-saving support to nearly 25,000 people, but more needs to be done to help families in Vanuatu recover and get better prepared for the next storm.

The gift of a lifetime

The gift of a lifetime

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"When children cannot continue their education, their parents weep for them." Kathy Solomon, who helps run Oxfam-supported education programmes in Vanuatu.

Oxfam is working with locals like Kathy Solomon to run rural training centres that give young people in Vanuatu the invaluable, life-changing gift of an education.

"Vanuatu has many children who want to go to school. But the government does not have enough classrooms or money to educate them all. It’s a supply and demand issue. It means a lot of kids don't get much more than a few years of school."

With every year that goes by, more and more young people are finding themselves pushed out of the education system and facing a life of uncertainty. But rural training centres are helping to give these young people the skills they need to build a better life for themselves and their families.

Hot and hungry: How to stop climate change derailing the fight against hunger

How will climate change affect what we eat? Hunger is not and need never be inevitable. However climate change threatens to put back the fight to eradicate it by decades – and our global food system is woefully unprepared to cope with the challenge.

In the Pacific region, climate change could cause production of sweet potato in Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands to decline more than 50 per cent by 2050, and maize in Vanuatu and Timor Leste to decline by 6 - 14 per cent by 2050.

In the face of this challenge, a new report from Oxfam analyses how well the world’s food system is prepared for the impacts of climate change.

In it, ten key factors that influence a country’s ability to feed its people in a warming world are assessed – including the quality of weather monitoring systems, social safety nets, agricultural research and adaptation finance.