A girl at her home in Port Vila, Efate island, Vanuatu. Photo credit: Hanna Butler/IFRC/NZ Red Cross

A girl at her home in Port Vila, Efate island, Vanuatu. Photo credit: Hanna Butler/IFRC/NZ Red Cross

With damage to crops, fishing vessels and aquaculture in Vanuatu creating urgent food security concerns following tropical cyclone Pam, German International Cooperation (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit [GIZ] GmbH) and the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) are contributing food aid.

Through its Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the German Government has allocated €200,000 (FJ$445,000) for emergency food aid that will be distributed from this week to communities in Shefa province via an existing SPC/GIZ partnership initiative in Vanuatu.

“We’re assisting the Food Security and Agriculture Cluster as part of the Vanuatu Government-led efforts to provide urgently needed food to remote villages,” the Programme Director and Senior Adviser for GIZ, Dr Wulf Killmann, said.

“We’ll be contributing rice, noodles and canned food, with the first distribution taking place this week.

“Our joint SPC/GIZ climate change programme has been active in Vanuatu since 2009, so we’ve been able to work quickly through our coordinator in Port Vila and our established networks to make a direct, immediate contribution to the emergency relief actions,” Dr Killmann said.

Vanuatu is one of 15 countries involved in the SPC/GIZ Regional programme, Coping with Climate Change in the Pacific Island Region, that is funded by the German Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and USAID.  Elements are also implemented by the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme.

“The Vanuatu Government has taken ownership in responding to cyclone Pam based on their well-established mechanisms to coordinate disaster response efforts, and SPC will stand by them for the long haul, alongside GIZ and our other partners,” SPC Director-General, Dr Colin Tukuitonga, said.

The SPC/GIZ programme has been promoting climate change adaptation measures, including innovation in the tourism sector and integrating climate change into existing national curricula and training programmes, including at teacher training institutions.

Dr Tukuitonga and Dr Killmann said that it was too early to speculate on the impacts of tropical cyclone Pam on progress to date of the joint climate change adaptation programme.

Media contacts:

Dr Christopher Bartlett, SPC/GIZ Project Officer Vanuatu, [email protected], +678 29594

Julie Marks, SPC Communications Director, [email protected], +687 80 74 95