Vanuatu

Vanuatu: Tropical Cyclone Pam Situation Report No. 16 (as of 3 April 2015)

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Highlights

• Government-led assessment teams returned to Port Vila from the cyclone-affected islands in Shefa and Tafea provinces on 2 April. Data processing and analysis has already begun.

• Vaccination campaigns continue, with 10,900 children having received vaccinations against measles, as well as deworming and Vitamin A tablets and soap.

• More than 15,000 insecticide-treated bed nets were distributed in Shefa Province.

• Access to clean water remains one of the most pressing humanitarian concerns, with an estimated 100,000 people in need of safe drinking water.

• Military assets have been providing critical logistical support, but a sustainable solution needs to be found for transportation.

• Food distributions continue, with more than 26,000 people having been reached during the current round of distribution.

Situation Overview

On 2 April, 11 Government-led teams returned from 13 cyclone-affected islands in Shefa and Tafea provinces where they assessed humanitarian and early recovery needs across several sectors. The National Disaster Management Office (NDMO) and the Vanuatu Humanitarian Team (VHT) debriefed the teams the following day and have already started processing the collected data. Assets from all military forces responding to the aftermath of the tropical cyclone – Australia, France, New Zealand, Tonga and the Solomon Islands - provided extensive logistical support in the process. The second round of assessments is scheduled to begin on 6 April, with the teams travelling north for assessments in Malampa and Penama provinces. The overall results will inform the revision of humanitarian response planning and ensure it effectively integrates early recovery needs.

Food distributions continue in the affected provinces. More than 26,000 people have received food in the current round of distributions. The next round is scheduled to commence in priority cyclone-affected areas as early as next week. Nutrition and Food Security partners are working together to ensure that key messages on nutrition accompany distributions. At the same time, the Government and humanitarian partners are supporting affected people to restore their livelihoods through the distribution of seeds, fresh planting materials and chicks.

Care International has identified gender and protection concerns on the islands of Erromango, Tanna, Futuna and Aniwa where women are reporting being left out of rebuilding and recovery efforts in their communities. Mixed reports were received regarding the impact of the cyclone on the dynamics of violence against women, exacerbating the issue in some cases and promoting greater cohesiveness in others. The need to travel further for water collection has ostensibly placed women at greater risk of assault.

Access to clean water remains one of the most pressing humanitarian concerns, with an estimated 100,000 people in need of safe drinking water. Some of the smaller Shepherds islands are reportedly the most water-stressed, as they depend on rainwater and have very limited alternative sources. While military assets are providing critical support in supplying water to people in need, a sustainable solution needs to be found for transportation. Durable supply solutions must complement the restoration of traditional water-harvesting, catchment and storage systems, many of which were destroyed by the cyclone.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.