WFP supports the Government of Vanuatu's response to Tropical Cyclone Lola with assistance from USAID
With funding from USAID, WFP will support NDMO arrange transportation like ships to deliver critical relief like food, tents, health and sanitation items to the affected areas. Through this funding, WFP will also donate non-food items like tarpaulins and shelter fixing kits that will help meet the needs on the ground and bolster the NDMO’s response for Lola.
“As climate-related disasters continue to increase in frequency and severity in the Pacific, our partnership with USAID and the NDMO is even more relevant and crucial to ensure a swift response in the face of a crisis,” said Alpha Bah, Country Director for WFP’s Pacific Multi-Country Office. "Our goal is to bolster Vanuatu's readiness for not only the current cyclone season but also for the long term. WFP’s logistics experts stationed in Port Vila and Santo are dedicated to supporting NDMO with capacity strengthening in information management, logistics mapping and coordination.”
Beyond offering immediate logistics coordination for relief efforts, WFP is dedicated to bolstering the Government of Vanuatu's capacities within the national logistics cluster. This includes focusing on data and information management and streamlining logistics coordination to facilitate an effective response and recovery. A team from WFP has been deployed to Port Vila and Espiritu Santo.
Cyclone Lola made landfall on 24 October striking Pentecost and nearby islands with damaging winds of up to 230 kilometres per hour. The out of season Category 4 cyclone has affected 91,000 people in Malampa, Penama, Shefa and Torba provinces, with the Government of Vanuatu declaring a six-month state of emergency in these provinces.
This comes just seven months after the two consecutive Category 4 cyclones, Judy and Kevin, struck Vanuatu in March, affecting 80 percent of the population with extensive damage to homes, livelihoods and disruptions to water, power and telecommunications services. Vanuatu’s NDMO, which led the humanitarian response to Kevin and Judy, was in the final phase of cyclone recovery when Lola hit.
During the ongoing South-Pacific cyclone season which lasts from November to April, the region is expected to experience eight to fourteen tropical cyclones, of which five to seven will be severe. According to the Regional Specialized Meteorological Centre Nadi Tropical Cyclone Centre, this season the Pacific region has an elevated risk of tropical cyclone activity.
WFP’s support to the 14 Pacific Island Countries and territories focuses on capacity strengthening so that governments can anticipate, prepare for, and respond better to disasters to protect lives and livelihoods ahead of, during and in the aftermath of shocks.
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