The UN’s Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) has approved a generous amount of US$1.7m towards recovery efforts in Vanuatu after twin Category-4 cyclones, Judy and Kevin, ravaged the island nation earlier this month. This funding will specifically target the most vulnerable and most affected populations in Vanuatu and will focus on three key areas – food security, water, and sanitation hygiene (WASH), and emergency shelter.
The Vanuatu Government has confirmed that the aid is crucial and will go a long way in helping the country recover from the devastating effects of the cyclones. The funding update was announced during a Pacific Humanitarian Team (PHT) meeting hosted by the Government of Vanuatu and the UN, attended by over 150 people, including ambassadors and high-level representatives from 37 countries and about 40 organizations.
During the meeting, UN Resident Coordinator to Vanuatu, Fiji, Solomon Islands, Tonga, and Tuvalu, Sanaka Samarasinha, commended the Vanuatu Government for showing world-class leadership in their response efforts. He stressed the importance of continued teamwork and collaboration in response to the twin cyclones that hit Vanuatu.
Vanuatu’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, Hon. Jotham Napat, co-chaired the PHT meeting with Samarasinha and added that the support shown towards Vanuatu’s rebuild efforts was overwhelming, emphasizing that Vanuatu is still in a time of need. Both cyclones left massive trails of destruction, causing serious damage to infrastructure, buildings, connectivity, and crops, further compounding the impact of tropical cyclone Harold.
The joint Government-PHT meeting was a significant opportunity to discuss damages, the Vanuatu Government’s short and long-term priority needs, response and priority plans, and ways development partners can assist. The aid provided by the CERF is critical in enabling Vanuatu to address the most pressing needs of its people, especially the most vulnerable and affected populations.
In conclusion, the UN’s support to Vanuatu is commendable, and it demonstrates the importance of collaboration and teamwork in disaster response efforts. The provision of funding towards recovery efforts in Vanuatu will go a long way in rebuilding the country and helping its people recover from the devastating impact of the twin cyclones.