YachtAid Global, a non-profit based in San Diego that coordinates developmental/disaster relief aid and deliveries via private yachts to communities in need around the world, is calling on the yachting industry to support its ongoing fundraising efforts for critically needed aid.
Relief efforts are focused in the island nation of Vanuatu after Cyclone Pam, in Micronesia after Cyclone Maysak, and other ongoing and future projects.
YachtAid Global, or YAG, is launching a “#TAGYAG” fundraising campaign, which will emphasize the continued need in Vanuatu, and globally, for YAG programs that procure purchased and donated aid items and coordinate the delivery of them via private vessels to address disaster relief and other needs in remote communities globally.
To help address the humanitarian crisis in a known yachting paradise, YAG is seeking minimum donations of $50 to $100 per person/crewmember and/or $1,000 per corporation from yachting/marine related industries.
Once a donation is made, YAG is asking donors to #TAGYAG on social media outlets and urge others to do so.
After a two-week disaster relief mobilization effort in Vanuatu by two yachts (officially acknowledged by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs) water, food and medical supplies were airlifted to the most devastated islands in the remote islands and saved lives.
YAG said it is emphasizing the time-sensitive nature of the crisis: Resources are needed immediately to address aid and sustenance, as well as longer-term developmental programs.
On March 30, Category 5 Typhoon Maysak hit Micronesia with 250-kph winds, displacing several thousand more victims after similar total devastation to the entire islands.
Vanuatu, a nation made up of more than 80 islands spread over 800 miles in the South Pacific Ocean, was devastated on March 13 by the worst cyclone ever to hit the region. Sustained winds were in excess of 160 mph.
Many islands in the archipelago took a direct hit and all structures, trees, roads, boats, schools, crops, water and food supplies where destroyed. Although casualties were minimal, many in Vanuatu, including children and infants, have been left with no shelter, no natural shade, clean water, food and medical care.
“The people of Vanuatu — already one of the most undeveloped countries in the world prior to the Cyclone — desperately need our help. Although we have had two yachts that responded immediately to the crisis and have helped save lives and stabilize this humanitarian crisis, there are scores of islands that are in need of basic necessities like water, food, clothing, fuel, building materials, school supplies, medication and medical supplies, etc. We are counting on the yachting community to spread the word,” YAG founder Mark Drewelow said in a statement.
Privately owned and managed yachts possess several vital characteristics — common to that of a floating city — making them invaluable for disaster relief operations.