Victims in Vanuatu who urgently need food are frustrated at a delayed response from the government, one month after Cyclone Lusi struck.
Victims of Cyclone Lusi in Vanuatu who urgently need food are frustrated at a delayed response from the government, more than a month after the storm struck.
The National Disaster Management Office submitted an assessment for food relief to the government more than a week ago but says it is still waiting to hear back on a decision.
Indira Moala reports:
After Cyclone Lusi struck Vanuatu, the affected populations were advised to use up left over crops damaged from the cyclone. But after the crops ran out in some areas nearly two weeks ago, many have been forced to eat unripe crops. Kensley Micah from the Provincial Disaster Committee in Sanma Province says people are now frustrated.
KENSLEY MICAH: There's still no response from the government. The people urgently need food but I think it takes a while for the government to respond. And I think people are getting frustrated right now. And they were expecting some things from the government but right now their expectations just fade away.
The National Disaster Management Office says it cannot help the families until it gets funds from the government. Its director, Shadrack Welegtabit, who submitted the assessment for food relief over a week ago, expected to receive a response within a couple of days of submitting the assessment. He now says they hope to receive a response later this week.
SHADRACK WELEGTABIT: Until the council of ministers sits sometime this week then we will be able to know how much the government has set aside for relief items to the most affected people. The proposal was submitted last week, but just waiting for these people ...I mean it has to be a council of ministers decision but we are now waiting until the council of ministers have decided and allocated funds so we cannot do anything until we have some funds made available to us.
Albert Williams, who is the Director general of the Ministry of Climate Change and is also in charge of National Disaster issues, could not be reached for comment.
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