17 Apr 2015

Vanuatu's NDMO concedes gaps in cyclone relief effort

8:21 pm on 17 April 2015

Disaster authorities, NGOs and humanitarian organisations working on the relief effort after the category five cyclone Pam say they are looking forward to the government's endorsement of the latest damage assessment report.

Water supplied in Vanuatu aid effort

A full damage assessment report is expected next week. Photo: AFP / UNICEF PACIFIC

The report, which covers damage nationwide, is being finalised in the capital, Port Vila.

Peter Korisa, the operations manager of the National Disaster Management Office, said experiences from the first phase of relief distribution had revealed many gaps in the ongoing relief effort.

"We realised that we need more data just to confirm the number of households and the exact number of damages to different sectors -- especially schools, health facilities and water," Mr Korisa said.

"So now this assessment will help us address those gaps that have been missed in the first assessment."

He said he expected the full report to be endorsed by the government early next week.

Relief supplies arrive at Fresh Wota from NDMO.

Relief supplies arrive at Fresh Wota from NDMO. Photo: RNZI / Koroi Hawkins

Meanwhile, almost a month after the cyclone damaged much of the country, the National Providence Fund has paid out over US$8 million to affected people.

After the storm, the government said fund members could access 20% of their money in the superannuation fund to rebuild their homes.

The fund's general manager, Santos Vatoko, said his office had processed the requests of almost 10,000 members and expected much more money to go out.

"Our estimation, based on members who are eligible to make a withdrawal is a total of 2.1 billion vatu (US$20 million) -- close to 28,000 members we were expecting," Mr Vatoko said.

"We have processed about 9,846 applications, so we have still got a fair way to go before we complete the process."

The opportunity to obtain the partial withdraw option ends on May 29.

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