• The ETC Coordinator for the Pacific continues to work remotely in line with Pacific island office hours until travel to Fiji is possible.
• The ETC is initiating a project plan to strengthen telecommunications services in the Pacific in response to COVID-19, using US$802,000 funding received from donor USAID.
• As part of the ETC’s response to Cyclone Harold, radio broadcast equipment is being installed in Vanuatu by local implementing partner, Vanuatu Broadcasting and Television Corporation (VBTC) to restore radio broadcast services severely impacted by the cyclone.
The Pacific is one of the most disaster-prone regions in the world. The ETC actively works on preparedness activities in the Pacific Island region by building partnerships, ensuring global coordination of emergencies and preparedness activities, prepositioning of equipment and building the capacity of its partners.
The ETC in the Pacific also continues to respond to the impact of Cyclone Harold in Vanuatu. At its peak, the cyclone reached severe category 5 as it made landfall in Vanuatu in early April, causing widespread damage to communications networks and broadcast radio and television infrastructure.
At the same time, most Pacific Island Countries (PICs) are in a state of emergency as they respond to COVID19 and have enforced travel restrictions to slow the spread of the virus. These restrictions continue to impact on the ETC response to Cyclone Harold and on preparedness activities in the region.