(L-R) Mr. Bakhodir Burkhanov, Country Director and Head of Pacific Regional Policy and Programme, UNDP Pacific Office in Fiji; Vanuatu’s Minister of Climate Change, Honorable Ham Lini Vanuaroroa, and the Ambassador of Japan to Vanuatu, His Excellency Mr. Koichi Miyoshi (Photo: UNDP)

 

The Government of Japan and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) provided the Government of Vanuatu with critical equipment today, which can be deployed for rebuilding community infrastructure for people relocating to surrounding islands and following natural disasters.

The equipment includes hand and power tools for about 500 workers and associated protective gear. These workers can be mobilized to undertake rehabilitation of community infrastructure or activities such as debris removal and solid waste management. The equipment will also be used to support basic carpentry training for youths.

The equipment will be instrumental in strengthening the Government of Vanuatu’s ability to support the Ambae population’s resettlement as well as the broader objective to prepare, respond and recover faster from disasters, especially in the light of lessons learned from tropical cyclones, and the eruption of the Ambae volcano that affected the country recently.

A handover ceremony took place today in Port Vila attended by Vanuatu’s Minister of Climate Change, Honorable Ham Lini Vanuaroroa, the Ambassador of Japan to Vanuatu, His Excellency Mr. Koichi Miyoshi, and Mr. Bakhodir Burkhanov, Country Director and Head of Pacific Regional Policy and Programme, UNDP Pacific Office in Fiji.

The event highlights a partnership between the two countries that is aimed at promoting stability and prosperity in the region. It also illustrates UNDP’s commitment to enhance disaster preparedness and response in the Pacific.

“UNDP as an international agency in collaboration with the Japanese Aid programme to Pacific Island Countries has been well recognized over the years through your development assistance in crisis prevention and response to natural disasters and development fronts in general, for which Vanuatu Government wishes to convey its sincere acknowledgement,” said Minister of Climate Change and Adaptation, Hon. Ham Lini Vanuaroroa.

“The Vanuatu Government acknowledges greatly your efforts in early recovery for our past natural disasters such as Tropical Cyclone Pam and now in our focus on the Ambae Volcano disaster,” he said.

Country Director and Head of Pacific Regional Policy and Programme, UNDP Pacific Office in Fiji, Mr. Bakhodir Burkhanov, says UNDP as a development agency with a crisis prevention, response and early recovery role, supports the humanitarian community in including the much needed development thinking into humanitarian response.

“Just as humanitarian responses are crucial in saving lives by responding to the most urgent human needs, integrating an early recovery approach within humanitarian operations is crucial to community recovery. It sets the stage for the long-term recovery and reconstruction efforts that are sustainable and resilient,” he said.

Ambassador of Japan to Vanuatu, His Excellency Mr. Koichi Miyoshi said at today’s ceremony, “I would like to appreciate the UNDP Crisis Bureau based in New York and the UNDP Pacific Office in Suva particularly the Disaster Resilience for Pacific SIDs project (RESPAC) for the procurement and dispatch of these tools and equipment. The tools and equipment will be outfitted for 500 engineering workers who will support emergency response activities for recovery and rehabilitation works.”

The kit, worth more than US $70 thousand, will be distributed and used across the country, mainly to support the rehabilitation of the Ambae community. It was made available through a project implemented by UNDP’s crisis bureau, titled ‘Enhancing Preparedness Capacity for Immediate Crisis Response and Early Recovery in Crisis Countries.’ The project has strengthened the preparedness and response capacity of several countries across the world, by providing concrete emergency preparedness tools, as well as carpentry training to hundreds of youth.

Contact information:

Donald Wouloseje, Program Analyst, United Nations Development Programme, Port Vila, Vanuatu; Tel: (678) 7734 349; email: donald.wouloseje@undp.org; Twitter: @DonaldWouleseje

Merana Kitione, Communications Officer, Resilience & Sustainable Development Team, UNDP Pacific Office in Fiji. Phone: (679) 3227 579 Email: merana.kitione@undp.org Twitter: @merana_kitione

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