Summary of major revisions made to emergency plan of action:
This Operation Update is issued to inform stakeholders of revisions made to the Emergency Plan of Action (EPoA) based on the immediate humanitarian needs and priorities identified from government and VRCS rapid needs assessments that are still ongoing in the areas affected by the Tropical Cyclone (TC) Harold. This comprises the following changes:
• Change of timeframe from one-month Preparedness and Early warning to a full Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) funded emergency response operation that is expected to last for a maximum of six months.
• Shelter: Expansion of the number of targeted families with distribution of emergency shelter and essential household items assistance, safe-shelter awareness and demonstration to 5,050 total households (target increased from 4,000 households noted in the original EPoA). Shelter Cluster coordination support is also being provided remotely to the Vanuatu Shelter Cluster lead PWD as well as VRCS.
• Water, sanitation and hygiene promotion: Inclusion of water and hygiene promotion interventions, emergency water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) trainings; distribution of WASH essential household items, installation of ventilated improved pit (VIP) latrines for sanitation; and mobilization of personnel to support the activities planned. Based on assessment findings there are water supply gaps that need to be addressed, especially in Pentecost and Santo; as well as concerns on knowledge and practices related to health/hygiene in conjunction with the COVID19 prevention.
• Logistics and supply chain: VRCS has expanded logistical support to enable the implementation of activities across a dispersed geographical area, including remote rural and island communities. With the challenges considered, there is an increase of International logistical support for replenishment and stock gap, technical support provided remotely to the VRCS Logistics team, and an increase of the transportation cost budget to facilitate the implementation.
• Health and Psychosocial Support (PSS): Inclusion of Health intervention for First Aid provision to the affected populations; PSS support provided throughout the implementation to not only the affected people but also staff and volunteers.
• Rapid market assessment in Sanma, Pentecost and Malampa provinces to determine the Cash-based intervention (CBI) modalities. Based on assessment findings there is a need to include this support to affected families, to enable them to restore their livelihoods and provision of basic needs while they rebuild their homes.
• Strategies for Implementation; Strengthening the National Society capacity: an increase in the support to volunteers and staff activated, as well Emergency Operations Centers (EOC) erected in the field and in headquarters (HQ) for the duration of the operation.
As a result, an additional allocation from the DREF of CHF 646,679 has been made, bringing the total allocation for this operation to CHF 698,060 (including CHF 51,381 for imminent crisis) with the possibility that VRCS may apply for another allocation when the assessments are completed and all needs in each sectors are mapped out.
The IFRC, on behalf of VRCS, would like to thank all partners such as the New Zealand Red Cross, the Australian Red Cross, the Government of Australia, the Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA), the European Commission’s Humanitarian aid and Civil Protection department (ECHO) and other corporate and private donors in Vanuatu which have provided have provided different forms of support to VRCS in responding to the impact of TC Harold in Vanuatu