Vanuatu Daily News Digest | Australia gives 3 billion vatu extra reliefPosted: May 24, 2015
Australia announces an additional 3 billion vatu
to support Vanuatu’s recovery from Tropical Cyclone Pam
Australia’s Minister for Foreign Affairs Julie Bishop announced on 23 May that Australia will provide an additional 3 billion vatu (AUD35 million) to support Vanuatu’s long-term recovery from Tropical Cyclone Pam, bringing the Australian Government’s total support for recovery efforts to 4.3 billion vatu (AUD50 million), excluding the contribution of the Australian Defence Force. Ms Bishop made the announcement soon after a meeting with Prime Minister Joe Natuman in the margins of the PALM 7 meeting in Japan.
Cyclone Pam caused severe damage to housing, health centres, schools and other critical infrastructure in affected areas, and to Vanuatu’s key industries of tourism and agriculture. Australia was quick to respond to the disaster, providing an early life-saving package of more than 849.2 million vatu ($10 million), including the deployment of disaster response, medical and search and rescue teams. Australian Defence Force personnel and assets also assisted with the response. Australia provided a further 424.6 vatu ($5 million) to support Vanuatu’s early recovery needs in health, education and food security.
Australia’s 3 billion vatu long-term recovery package, developed in consultation with the Vanuatu Government, addresses critical needs. It will help to support livelihoods, economic recovery and the private sector; repair and rebuild critical public infrastructure; restore health and education facilities; and support gender and disability inclusion. Australia will work in close consultation with the Vanuatu Government, through its Sector Working Groups and within the framework set out in its draft Recovery Plan.
Australia, as a long-term partner and friend of Vanuatu, also continues to work in partnership with the Vanuatu Government to pursue Vanuatu’s development objectives through Australia’s annual 5 billion vatu (AUD60 million) bilateral and regional aid program. This program focuses on the key priority areas of health, education, infrastructure, law and justice, and economic governance. The 3 billion vatu recovery package will complement the work in these sectors to support recovery and improve the lives of all ni-Vanuatu.