17 Dec 2018

Oxfam cash transfer a relief for displaced people in Vanuatu

1:41 pm on 17 December 2018

The designer of a new Oxfam aid programme for Vanuatu's Ambae Islanders says overwhelmingly the recipients have been "really relieved" by the assistance.

Ambaeans being evacuated on the deck of a ship bound for Santo.

Ambaeans being evacuated on the deck of a ship bound for Santo. Photo: Facebook / Santo Ambae Disaster Support Community

Sandra Uwantege Hart has set-up a Cash Transfer Programme to kick-start the lives of displaced families who are not eligible for government assistance.

The government had provided help with official relocation and resettlement to neighbouring Maewo, but Ms Uwantege Hart says up to 80 percent of families chose to seek refuge on Santo.

She says 2,100 Ambae families in Santo are each receiving $US455 in three monthly payments.

Ms Uwantege Hart said New Zealand is funding the programme which enables families to establish themselves in their new homes.

"With resettling on Santo but also with everyday expenses: sending kids to school; clothing; basic hygiene products; as well as long term expenses. So building a house, transitioning from a tent or a tarpaulin to purchasing a piece of land or renting an apartment or a room somewhere."

Sandra Uwantege Hart said the programme has just passed its first month in operation.

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