Vanuatu cyclone victims still waiting for food aid
The government of Vanuatu is still yet to make a decision to fund an assessment for urgent food relief that was submitted ten days ago.
The government of Vanuatu will have to shift around funds to meet urgent food requests from Cyclone Lusi victims, because there is no budget for Disaster relief.
The affected populations were advised to salvage what crops they could after the cyclone, but that food ran out in some areas nearly two weeks ago, so many have been forced to eat unripe vegetables.
Victims in Vanuatu who urgently need food are frustrated because the government still has not responded to an assessment for food relief that was submitted ten days ago.
Albert Williams, who is the director general of the Ministry of Climate Change and is also in charge of national disaster issues, has told Indira Moala that they hope a decision will be made soon.
ALBERT WILLIAMS: Parliament is in session but our Minister took the request to go to Cabinet, so we're hoping Cabinet will look at it today. That's what we're anticipating so hopefully we should get a decision from Cabinet this week.
INDIRA MOALA: By this week - tomorrow's friday, so you're hoping to get a decision by tomorrow?
AW: Yes...I mean, the next opportunity that Cabinet will meet - we have the papers to present to Cabinet.
IM: Can I ask why it's taken so long to respond to the assessment for urgent food relief, given that this assessment was submitted ten days ago now?
AW: Yeah well I mean...that's a good question. I wish I could provide you with an exact answer. But, what happened you see, after the assessments were done, we had the submission. We are working with the government because one of the challenges we we've always faced is resourcing - resourcing the request. So that's been the challenge we have. And we're working with ministries, just to make sure that we are able to get the endorsement for the request we are putting to Cabinet.
IM: Is there an issue to do with funds at all? Do you need to shift some funds?
AW: There is no dedicated funds for disaster. That complicates a lot of the request that we put to finance. That's one of the areas we are looking at improving. Because, as we have right now - there's no dedicated funds for disaster relief or disaster response which makes it difficult for us to shift around finance and to say 'okay, we are asking you to release this money from this fund'. That's the challenge we have. We are walking with our partners, we've had a briefing with France, Australia and New Zealand just to brief them on this as well. But they are behind us in this and they've been very very supportive.
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