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Vanuatu: Response & Early Recovery Humanitarian Action Plan Tropical Cyclone Hola & Ambae Volcano (6 April 2018)

Govt. Vanuatu
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Executive Summary

Vanuatu remains one of the most vulnerable countries on the planet to the negative effects of climate change & natural disasters.

The simultaneous disasters of the Ambae Manaro Voui Volcano (September 2017 – present) and severe Tropical Cyclone Hola (March 2018) have placed extreme pressure on the Government of Vanuatu and the affected populations of PENAMA & MALAMPA Provinces. The situation continues to evolve, as evidenced by the destructive Wailembui Flash flood and Landslide on 31 March 2018.

While the National Disaster Management Office (NDMO), through its Cluster System, is coordinating the on-ground response to these disasters, and the Council of Ministers’ have allocated over 130 million VT towards the response effort, there remain substantial technical and financial gaps totaling over 1 Billion Vatu.

The following actions are recommended for immediate endorsement:

  • Immediately establish a multi-agency task force to jointly coordinate the response and recovery efforts

  • Solutions must be fully guided by the National Policy on Climate Change and Disaster-Induced Displacement as well as the National Climate Change & Disaster Risk Reduction Policy and the National Sustainable Development Plan.

  • Increase staffing, technical capacity and procedural adherence within the NDMO through a medium-term surge approach

  • Immediately launch an emergency Flash Appeal and a CERF under the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA) as this disaster represents a major sudden onset disaster that requires a coordinated response beyond the capacity of the Government to respond to.

  • Seek Financial and Technical assistance from Bilateral partners, local NGOs and regional technical agencies to improve and strengthen response capacity

  • Review the affected areas cited in COM Decisions 46/2018 & 47/2018 to ensure that support reaches those most vulnerable, including in the geographical areas of:

    • North West, North East and Central Malekula.
    • West Malo
    • South & Central Pentecost
    • North Ambrym
    • Ambae
  • Consider the use of innovative tools for humanitarian support including cash transfer and voucher systems for increased self-determination of the recovery process

  • Enable recovery via VAT exemption on relief items and other emergency measures as it is not feasible for Government to directly rebuild private homes and infrastructure

  • Approach disaster response and recovery in a universally accepted phased approach:Short Term (April – June 2018), Intermediate Term (July – December 2018) and Long Term (2019/2020).

  • Hold Clusters to account to undertake comprehensive planning and budgeting alongside and in collaboration with other clusters to avoid duplications and build synergies

  • Meaningfully engage local Civil Society and Private Sector stakeholders in all aspects of disaster response and recovery