PORT VILA, VANUATU – The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of Vanuatu have signed a project agreement confirming the Cyclone Pam Road Reconstruction Project.
Andrea Iffland, Regional Director of ADB’s Pacific Liaison and Coordination Office in Australia, together with Vanuatu’s Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Willie Jimmy participated in the signing ceremony in Port Vila.
Recognising the need to advance gender and protection issues during times of disasters made worse by climate change impacts, a network comprising of government officials from Fiji, Solomon Islands, Tonga and Vanuatu has been set up to provide a platform to share information, experiences and best practices.
Referred to as the ProPa Network, which coins two words, Protection and Pacific, it aims to raise awareness on the range of issues related to the cross cutting theme and to better address these issues before, during and after a disaster.
A specialist in Vanuatu governance issues says the dissolution of the country's parliament could set back much-needed relief programmes.
Read more on Radio New Zealand International.
Over the past year we have grown our income in a crowded and competitive market. We have had to absorb some cuts to our funding from DFAT as part of the Government’s austerity measures. We want to thank those supporters, including our President, who advocated strenuously on our behalf to reduce the severity of those cuts. It has also been a busy year as we have steadily prepared for our five yearly re-accreditation with DFAT, and welcomed an expanded membership.
PORT VILA, VANUATU – Japan is providing a $5 million grant, administered by the Asian Development Bank (ADB), to support the Government of Vanuatu’s school rebuilding drive in the wake of Cyclone Pam. ADB and the Government of Vanuatu signed the grant agreement at a ceremony today in Port Vila.
Recurrent earthquakes, floods, typhoons, and volcanoes present significant challenges to vulnerable populations in the East Asia and the Pacific (EAP) region. Some countries also face civil unrest and associated humanitarian impacts, as well as limited government capacity to respond to disasters. Between FY 2006 and FY 2015, USAID’s Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA) and USAID’s Office of Food for Peace (USAID/FFP) provided humanitarian assistance in response to a diverse range of natural and complex emergencies in the region.
As many as 4.7 million people in 13 Pacific countries (2.4 million in PNG and the total populations of the remaining Pacific nations) are at risk of adverse effects of drought including water shortages, food insecurity and disease.
Governments are taking measures to mitigate the potential impacts of the drought. The government is delivering water to drought affected areas in Fiji.
The Vanuatu government is delivering food to affected communities especially those affected by Tropical cyclone Pam.
World Toilet Day 2015: new World Bank report finds severe lack of access to water & sanitation for thousands of families across the Pacific
SYDNEY, November 19, 2015 – As more and more families migrate from rural areas to Pacific capital cities, water, sanitation and health challenges in rapidly growing informal settlements in key Pacific capital cities are in urgent need of response, according to a new World Bank report.
Increasing temperatures and storm frequency from climate change, coupled with rising seas, are driving important changes in risk profiles in Asia and across the world. In response to these critical impacts of climate change, the world is coming together in Paris to formalize a new climate treaty – both to mitigate the causes of climate change and also to help countries adapt to the consequences of a warmer future.
By Edwina Yeates, Vanuatu Red Cross Society
In early November, a team of Vanuatu Red Cross Society trainers and volunteers ran a series of Safe Shelter Awareness workshops for 900 households in communities across West Tanna with support from Australian Aid, Australian Red Cross and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC). The workshops aimed at helping communities build houses that are more resistant to future natural disasters such as tropical storms, cyclones and earthquakes.
• A strong El Niño is now in force with some climatologists warning it could rival the 1997/98 event which was the most severe on record.
• In an El Niño year, the cyclone season usually runs longer and features a greater proportion of severe cyclones forming over a larger area.
• Up to 13 Pacific countries could be affected by El Niño-related drought, placing as many as 4.7 million people at risk.
Coffee is one of the main sources of livelihood for the people of Tanna Island. Home to one of the Pacific’s few active volcanoes, Yasur, its rich soils, abundant sunshine and rainfall, makes Tanna one of the best places in the Pacific to grow coffee. But the events of 13 March, resulted in the destruction of this delicate plant, as Tropical Cyclone Pam swept across the archipelago.
Up to 6,000 people remain displaced following fighting that broke out between the Myanmar military and Shan State Army North in central Shan State in early Oct. Those displaced are staying in monasteries and IDP camps.
The Vanuatu Agriculture Research Center says it has a solution to the drought-related food shortages being caused by an El Nino event in the country.
Read the full article on Radio New Zealand International
Lilly Tupas lives in the Etas area with her husband and son, and runs a small shop, which is located near the Buoffa Landfill on the outskirts of Port Vila, Vanuatu’s capital. During Tropical Cyclone Pam, her shop was destroyed and she lost everything. Months on she has since rebuilt and restocked her shop and is back in business.
The Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) launched the Pacific Ecosystem-based Adaptation to Climate Change (PEBACC) project in Vanuatu this month.
The project is focused on implementing Ecosystem-based Adaptation (EbA) activities across three Melanesian countries, namely Fiji, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu. This project is funded by the International Climate Initiative (IKI) of The German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB) and is planned to last 5 years.
A series highlighting key GFDRR-supported initiatives
Small Island States include two-thirds of the countries that face the highest losses due to natural disasters, and the costs are growing. Tropical cyclones alone cause an estimated $835 million of damages in the Caribbean and $178 million in the Pacific each year. These recurrent losses undermine growth and add to national debt.
However, proven interventions can increase the capacity to anticipate, absorb and bounce back from natural disasters.
A leader on Vanuatu's northern island of Santo has offered to adopt 100 children from Tanna which is suffering the effects of Cyclone Pam and drought.
Read the full article on Radio New Zealand International
By CARE Australia
Financial aid from the Australian Government to help some of our closest neighbours mitigate the effects of El Nino has been welcomed. $9 million has been pledged to Pacific countries facing food and water shortages including Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu. However, continued assistance will be needed.