UNICEF Pacific in Vanuatu: Partner Update, May – June 2016

Situation Report
Originally published



  • Preliminary results of the national immunisation coverage survey show evidence of improved immunisation coverage since 2013

  • The refurbished National and Shefa Provincial Vacine Storage facilities opened - facilities now meet WHO international standards

  • Training for health workers on vaccine management, disease surveillance and health education on immunisation rolled out across Vanuatu

  • Education in Emergencies train-the-trainer workshop held to build capacity for effective education in emergencies response

  • Child Protection in Emergencies training events held for staff from government, NGOs and for community leaders

  • Training on Drinking Water Safety Planning conducted on Tanna island


May and June brought welcome widespread rain across most of Vanuatu, benefitting food production and alleviating water shortages caused by months of El Niño-related conditions. The UNICEF-funded water delivery to the small islands in the Shepherds group has transitioned from regular deliveries to a ‘call down’ basis as determined by the Department of Geology, Mines and Water Resources (DGMWR).

Vanuatu experienced a series of large earthquakes during the last two months. The latest was on 19 June, when a 6.3 magnitude earthquake was felt in many islands of Vanuatu, with its epicentre near Lenakel, Tanna. Fortunately none of these earthquakes triggered tsunami alerts and no serious injuries or major damage was reported by the National Disaster Management Office.

A number of emergency preparedness activities took place in May and June. UNICEF and Save the Children supported the Ministry of Education and Training to deliver an Education in Emergencies workshop that covered emergency preparedness, effective education in emergencies response and a smooth transition into early recovery. UNICEF and the Ministry of Justice and Community Services held two Child Protection in Emergencies training events to equip child protection focal points from government, NGOs and communities with the knowledge and skills to identify risks that children face during emergencies, develop emergency preparedness plans and comprehensive response and early recovery plans.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), together with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the National Disaster Management Office (NDMO) conducted a joint exercise on Mass Evacuation in Natural Disasters to analyse gaps and identify plans for mass evacuation in the event of volcanic eruptions on the islands of Gaua, Tanna and Ambryim. The three-week exercise coincided with the release of the National Guidelines for the Selection and Assessment of Evacuation Centres, which explains how to identify and select evacuation facilities, and links national guidelines with international standards.

UNICEF continues to support the Vanuatu National Recovery from TC Pam Plan as well as longer term development partnerships with Ministries. Joint UNICEF and Government work plans are being implemented in Water, Sanitation and Health, Health, Nutrition, Education and Child Protection. All of UNICEF’s work is based on national priorities of the Government and supports implementation of sector-specific plans and policies. Each work plan is gender-sensitive, targets reducing inequity and incorporates activities that build resilience to disasters and climate change.