Vanuatu Red Cross is sending locally sourced and life-saving relief supplies to islands across Vanuatu to help communities best prepare for the cyclone season.
Relief goods such as containers to collect clean water, pots and pans for cooking and tarpaulins for shelter are being positioned in key communities across all six provinces of the country. “The relief supplies will enable the most vulnerable people to get the support they need as quickly as possible when disaster strikes,” said Vanuatu Red Cross CEO, Jacqueline De Gaillande.
“Red Cross has been acquiring culturally appropriate stock where possible, in an effort to maximise the speed of emergency assistance, minimise associated costs, ensure international standards are met and encourage business continuity and economic recovery in Cyclone Pam affected communities.”
“More than 1,100 pandanus mats are being allocated as part of the pre-positioned relief supplies. The mats are being produced locally by the Malampa Women’s Handicraft Centre, which is improving the livelihoods of approximately 200 mamas Malekula-wide. Sourcing local goods is benefiting their families, the wider community and the local economy,” Ms De Gaillande said.
In times of disaster, obtaining relief supplies for immediate distribution can be challenging. As demand increases, prices can escalate quickly which can make it difficult to source relief items and get them to where they are needed. Sourcing and pre-positioning supplies locally means these issues can be avoided.
Vanuatu Red Cross is pre-positioning relief goods as part of plans to tackle the drought and El Nino weather patterns which are affecting much of the country.
Following the Cyclone Pam response, the amount of relief supplies in each location has been doubled. The quality of containers for clean water and tools to build emergency shelter has also been improved.
“We are extremely grateful for the generous contributions made by Australian Red Cross and Australian Aid towards this project ” said Ms. De Gaillande.
The positioning of relief supplies also coincides with further training of Red Cross emergency response volunteers, to monitor and replenish supplies regularly, with a focus on distributing goods swiftly and fairly during disaster.