17 Mar 2015

PNG and Fiji offer Vanuatu assistance and relief

8:17 pm on 17 March 2015

Papua New Guinea and Fiji are the latest regional countries to offer relief and aid assistance to Vanuatu following the devastation of Cyclone Pam.

Fiji is sending a relief team to Vanuatu to assist in disaster recovery efforts. The relief flight will also carry supplies and equipment to aid victims of Cyclone Pam.

Papua New Guinea has pledged 1.8 million US dollars to Vanuatu for immediate disaster relief and recovery funding.

The PNG Prime Minister, Peter O'Neill, said his government would also provide around 400-thousand US dollars to Tuvalu following the storm surge damages caused by Pam.

Mr O'Neill indicated the funding would go through to the respective governments rather than international humanitarian agencies.

Meanwhile, the PNG government has also pledged 3.6 million US dollars in relief assistance to six provinces of West New Britain, Jiwaka, Southern Highlands, Bougainville, Oro and Gulf, recently affected by extreme weather events.

The provinces have been hit by events such as flooding, with many of the affected communities being located in some of PNG's most remote parts.

Heavy rain in Papua New Guinea.

Heavy rain in Papua New Guinea. Photo: RNZI / Johnny Blades

This comes as the Prime Minister said his government was alert to the vulnerability of Pacific islands to the increasing frequency of extreme weather events.

Peter O'Neill warned that the danger of further cyclone damage is not yet over in the current storm season and people in at-risk areas must prepare for the worst.

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