UNICEF and other development partners signed a Joint Partnership Arrangement with the Government of Vanuatu to support the Vanuatu Education and Training Sector Strategy. 8 provincial supervisors of the national immunization programme were upskilled on supportive supervision and data management, including use of electronic tools uploaded onto tablets using the open source software AKVO Flow. 12 national obstetrics and neonatal health care experts provided feedback to strengthen National Maternal and Newborn Care Guidelines.
Training of trainers on Maternal Infant Young Child Feeding and Integrated Management of Acute Malnutrition, which included nutrition in emergencies, was delivered to a total of 48 health professions from 6 provinces who work in hospitals, health centres, dispensaries and nongovernmental organisations.
Draft minimum quality service standards for early childhood care and education centres were developed with UNICEF support through a workshop that brought together the Ministry of Education and Training and other partners. 50 participants were trained during the reporting period bringing the total reached to 350 people trained on the UNICEF-supported child protection community facilitation package known as “Children are Our Future,” which aims to prevent child abuse, exploitation and neglect.
Two fully equipped boats and two quad bikes with accessories provided by UNICEF were handed over to the Government to support monitoring and field visits by Penama Provincial Education Office staff and Civil Registry and Vital Statistics Committees in Torba, Malampa and Tafea Provinces.
Support from UNICEF to both the Vanuatu TC Pam National Recovery Plan and longer term development activities has been embedded into the 2017 business plans of respective Ministries to reinforce Government systems and ensure support is ‘on plan and on budget’. Benefits of this approach include improved ownership, mutual accountability, transparency and stakeholder commitment to Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH), Health, Nutrition, Education and Child Protection.
TC Cook made landfall on the weekend of 8–9 April, bringing destructive winds, rough seas, heavy rainfall and flash floods to northern, central and southern islands of Vanuatu. More than 1,000 children and their families from communities around Port Vila were formally evacuated to 13 centres by the Vanuatu National Disaster Management Office (NDMO), with support from the Vanuatu Mobile Force and community leaders. All evacuees had returned home within three days of the cyclone. The Government of Vanuatu activated the national emergency fund but did not request assistance from the international community.
The Vanuatu 2030 Monitoring and Evaluation Framework is expected to be finalized by the Department of Strategic Policy, Planning and Aid Coordination, with technical support from the UN Development Programme, by May. In view of the launch of the new national framework, a Sustainable Development Goals localization workshop is being planned by the UN Joint Presence Office (UNJPO) in concert with the validation of a complementary UN Pacific Strategy (UNPS).
The Vanuatu NDMO, with support from the International Organization for Migration, has initiated discussions on a national displacement policy with provincial partners in Shefa Province, including the UN, World Bank and local non-governmental organizations (NGOs). UNICEF continues to work closely with respective partners to answer queries and implement recommendations that arose from independent audits completed in 2016 related to the harmonized approach to cash transfers (HACT), which is practiced by multiple UN agencies.