However, at its meeting COM agreed that the government will continue to provide food assistance to all displaced Ambae families who were relocated to Maewo and Santo until 31 December 2018.
COM stated that all NGOs and other actors will continue to provide assistance on Maewo and Santo based on priorities determined by the Government.
COM also agreed that a multi sector assessment led by the National Recovery Committee (NRC) on Ambae Island, and at the locations where the Ambae displaced population have been relocated, shall be undertaken within two weeks to provide more information on the general situation on the ground before any Government Services can be restored.
The Ministries of Climate Change, Internal Affairs, Lands, Agriculture, Health and Education will be involved to determine the next steps with regards to management of the Recovery Transition Phase on Ambae taking into consideration all Social, Logistical and Infrastructure Implications.
At the end of two weeks the NRC will report back to the Ministers of Climate Change, Internal Affairs, Lands, Agriculture, Health and Education who shall then present the Overall Report to the Council of Ministers on their Recommendations for a Way Forward.
“One of the assessment teams to be led by the Vanuatu Police Force to return to Ambae to conduct assessments as well as assist in maintaining security and order.
The assessment team will be accompanied by Staff of the Office of the Government Chief Information Office (OGCIO), Staff of Telecom Vanuatu and Staff of Digicel Vanuatu to conduct scoping on the restoration of Telecommunication Services on Ambae. The report of this assessment team will be part of the NRC report back to COM,” a statement said.
The Council of Ministers said the Second Home policy continues to be maintained and the Maewo Response and Recovery Action Plan continues to be implemented.
With regards to the uncertainty of volcanic activity on Ambae that continues to make life unsafe on the island, the Council Of Ministers decided that People should stay away from the active volcano on Ambae Island and Ambae people should not go back to Ambae Island.
COM encouraged Ambae people to concentrate on restoring livelihoods at their Second Home site”
More than 10,000 people were evacuated from Ambae Island four months ago due to volcanic activity.
The State of Emergency was lifted this week.
Photo supplied. Caption: registration of Ambae evacuees on Maewo