Tropical Cyclone Harold wrought havoc on Vanuatu in the South Pacific in April last year Photograph: Luke Ebbs/SAVE THE CHILDREN HANDOUT/EPA

When the storm hit Vanuatu last year, the lack of international support gave local aid workers a chance to be heard.

If someone had told me this time last year that Vanuatu was about to weather one of the worst cyclones of our recent history with our borders closed, I may not have believed you.

After Cyclone Pam in 2015, hundreds of aid workers rushed in from overseas, eager to deliver lifesaving aid to communities who had lost everything.

But with a global pandemic declared on 11 March 2020 and Vanuatu’s borders closed on 20 March, Cyclone Harold looked set to be very different.

I must admit that in the early days of April 2020, as the weather updates showed a tropical cyclone of increasing ferocity approaching, I thought to myself “how are we going to manage on our own?” Read more…