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Editor’s Note: In January 2019, the Institute of Culinary Education launched the Natural Gourmet Center, a plant-centric and wellness-driven culinary arts program. We’ll be featuring…
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Pacific Nations Hit By Strongest Cyclone in Years During COVID-19 Pandemic

Why Global Citizens Should Care
Climate change exacerbates the frequency and severity of extreme weather events — and the Pacific is often the hardest hit. Global Citizen campaigns on the United Nations’ Global Goals, including goal 3 for good health and well-being, goal 13 for climate action, and goal 15 for life on land. Join the movement and take action on these issues and more here.

Tropical Cyclone Harold has left a trail of destruction across many Pacific Island nations.
The Category 5 cyclone — the most powerful weather event so far this year — made landfall across Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, and Fiji earlier this week, causing widespread flooding, infrastructural damage, injuries, and 27 fatalities. 

The cyclone’s impact has been particularly dire in Vanuatu.
To make matters worse, its arrival comes less than two weeks after the country declared a state of emergency over the coronavirus pandemic — in which flights in and out of the nation were suspended, social gatherings of more than five prohibited, and restrictions placed on restaurants, shops, and bars. 
The Vanuatu government now has been left with no other choice but to suspend social distancing rules for those needing to evacuate. 

Cyclone Harold wreaks havoc across the Pacific, and it’s not done yet
— Gizmodo (@Gizmodo) April 8, 2020

Climate and humanitarian organizations have highlighted how the natural disaster and pandemic will duly impact already vulnerable and marginalized people throughout the region.
Experts added they fear the region’s poor infrastructure and health care systems could now be inundated.
“We, the Pacific, are at the frontlines of any global crisis. We face the effects of inequality, greed and profit instead of accessing our human rights and justice, within and between states. Presently dealing with the global COVID-19 pandemic, Pacific Small Island states don’t have that much in the way of resources, be it human resources, material, and finance,” Vika Kalokalo, a member at Fiji’s DIVA for Equality, wrote. “Global pandemics and catastrophes bring about more risks to all Pacific people, particularly women and children and marginalized and diverse communities. There’s an increase in sexual and gender-based violence, poverty, and food scarcity. [The] category 5 cyclone … has affected Vanuatu and its people as a whole.” 
Fenton Lutunatabua, a regional managing director at climate organization 350 Pacific, echoed Kalokalo’s comments. 
“These already stressful situations, combined with the onslaught of a severe natural disaster, will no doubt create another layer of injustice towards already marginalized groups within our society,” he said in a statement. 

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