Vanuatu Ministers approve funding in double disaster response

Vanuatu's Council of Ministers has approved recovery funding for two separate recent natural disasters, Cyclone Hola and the Ambae volcanic eruption.

The cabinet announced it has declared disaster zones for both the region affected by Cyclone Hola and on Ambae island due to the ongoing volcanic eruption.

The government has declared a disaster zone over five priority areas in the northern islands after Cyclone Hola passed over the area as a category 4 system in early March destroying homes, schools and crops.

They have approved US$850,000 for immediate relief supplies to the affected communities in Northern Malekula, West Malo, Central Pentecost, South Ambae and North Ambrym.

The Council of Ministers also approved funding to cope with volcanic eruptions on the island of Ambae.

Thick ash, acid rain and volcanic activity has displaced communities and ruined vegetation on both the west and south side of Ambae.

The government granted US$370,000 to respond with three months supply of food, and temporary shelter, as well as water and sanitation assistance.

Preparations and planning are also underway to find permanent homes for people on Ambae displaced by the volcanic activity which escalated in October last year.

School fees and taxes on building materials in the areas affected by both disasters have also been exempted by the Council.



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