The two planeloads worth of humanitarian cargo, comprised medical supplies and food rations, was brought into the country at the request of the National Disaster Management Offices for Fiji and Vanuatu respectively.
“Thanks to our partners, the flights provided timely assistance to the government-led response after the devastation caused by the twin cyclones Judy and Kevin. The people of Vanuatu have demonstrated exceptional resilience in the face of these disasters, and we remain committed to supporting them,” said Alpha Bah, Representative and Country Director of WFP’s Pacific Multi-Country Office. “WFP and our partners will continue working closely with the Government to ensure that our efforts are aligned with their response and recovery strategies.”
In early March, Vanuatu, a scattered archipelago of 13 main islands was left battered by back-to-back Category 4 Cyclones Kevin and Judy and then rattled by twin earthquakes of 6.6 and 5.4 magnitude. With over 251,000 – 4 in 5 people – impacted, the country is reeling from the aftermath of the devastation.
WFP continues to support the response and recovery efforts led by the Government of Vanuatu in areas of logistics, emergency telecommunications and food security. WFP dispatched two Mobile Storage Units – temporary warehouses used to store critical humanitarian assistance – to aid Vanuatu’s emergency preparedness prior to the recent tropical cyclones. WFP has additional equipment – including forklifts and generators – pre-positioned in Brisbane, Australia, and at the United Nations Humanitarian Response Depot hub in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, ready for deployment as needed. WFP also deployed six personnel to Vanuatu and is implementing an automated data system to monitor daily distributions, facilitating the response effort of the National Food Security and Agriculture Cluster.
WFP’s Pacific Humanitarian Air Service is a part of the greater Pacific Humanitarian Team’s COVID-19 Response Plan – a comprehensive regional response plan that seeks to consolidate efforts by UN agencies, governments, regional and multilateral organizations, NGOs, donors, and development partners. It operates under the Pacific Humanitarian Pathway established by the Pacific Islands Forum and its member countries. With generous funding from the European Union, the Government of Australia and USAID, WFP has so far run 44 flights, transporting almost 345 metric tonnes of cargo across the Pacific region.