Today we announce additional assistance for people affected by volcanic activity on Vanuatu’s Ambae Island, and the conclusion of the Australian Defence Force’s contribution to the relief and recovery effort.
The additional assistance will enable NGOs and the Government of Vanuatu to extend affected communities’ access to basic services, including education and healthcare. It will allow displaced people to resume more normal lives following their evacuation to the nearby islands of Espiritu Santo, Maewo and Pentecost and upon their return to Ambae Island.
This announcement brings Australia’s total assistance to the relief effort to around $3 million, including our initial funding of $250,000 announced on 30 September for emergency food, water, shelter and hygiene supplies, aerial surveillance and evacuations.
Operation Vanuatu Assist, the Australian Defence Force’s contribution to the relief effort, has concluded with the departure of HMAS Choules from Vanuatu on Wednesday evening. The ADF has successfully delivered food, tents and 50,000 litres of clean drinking water to help meet the needs of the 11,600 evacuated residents.
HMAS Choules relayed Australian humanitarian supplies flown into Port Vila and Luganville by the Royal Australian Air Force to evacuees on Maewo, Pentecost Island and Espiritu Santo. ADF personnel from HMAS Huon also assisted local authorities to establish temporary camps for evacuees.
Footage is available at: https://goo.gl/4MbLdS