Aus. aid for Vanuatu evacuees reaches $US2.4 million

The Australian government says the additional assistance will enable NGOs and the government of Vanuatu to extend access to basic services, including education and healthcare.

It says it will allow displaced people to resume more normal lives following their evacuation to the nearby islands of Espiritu Santo, Maewo and Pentecost and upon their return to Ambae Island.

Australia's total contribution to the relief effort so far is valued at about $US2.4 million, including funding for emergency food, water, shelter and hygiene supplies, aerial surveillance and evacuations.

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The funding package will be a rapid release of pre-positioned stores and food items to assist people who remain in evacuation centres.

The supplies will give communities access to safe drinking water and basic hygiene for those who have lost houses and remain displaced.