The Vanuatu Red Cross Society (VRCS), supported by the French Red Cross (FRC), donated two boats to health centers and one to Torba Province in 2015/2016.
In December last year, the Red Cross (RC) donated two boats along with equipment to Loh (Torres Islands) and to Mataka (Gaua Island, Banks Islands) Health Centers. In February this year, a third boat was donated to Torba Province in Sola (Vanualava, Banks Islands). “The RC activities in Torba tend to decrease with only one project left at the end of December this year. However, we want these boats to continue benefitting the extremely remote populations of Torres and Banks Islands, most of them we have been working with for 6 years. This is the reason why we donated them to these actors.” - explains Julien Lamberti, former RC Head of Project for the Disaster Risk Reduction project “Together Becoming Resilient” currently being implemented in the region.
In order to formalize the donations, tripartite Memorandums of Understanding (MoU) were signed between beneficiary Health Centers (Torba Province for the third boat), the Health Department of Torba Province and the VRCS. From the signature of the agreements onwards, the Health Centers and Torba Province have been authorized to use the boats as they will. Nonetheless and until the end of the RC project, the boats will remain available to the Red Cross and its staff if when needed. “The 3 boats will be used to take care of approximately 3,000 people, in areas where it can take up to two days of walk to reach the communities. The two firsts will give the inhabitants access to minimum health care, and the third one will be available for assessments and distributions in case of disaster. The Province has always been a major Red Cross partner for disaster risk reduction.” - Julien concludes.