ASSISTANCE IN VANUATU: Update n°1

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ASSISTANCE IN VANUATU: Update n°1
(Issue by High Commission of the Republic in New Caledonia)

France joins the International Relief Missions after TC Pam in Vanuatu.

Following the dramatic consequences caused to Vanuatu by Tropical Cyclone Pam, the President of the Republic sent "his full support to the people and authorities of Vanuatu" and said that "the French authorities will respond to the requests for assistance from Vanuatu".

The High Commissioner of the Republic in New Caledonia is working on the implementation of a mission of assistance to the victims with the support of the Armed Forces of New Caledonia (FANC) and with direct link with the civil protection in New Caledonia, particularly the Directorate of Civil Protection and Risk Management (DSCRG) and the local branch of the Red Cross.

Under FRANZ (France, Australia, New-Zealand) Agreement, a meeting was held on Sunday afternoon at the High Commission of the Republic, in the presence of the consular authorities of New Zealand, Australia and Vanuatu to coordinate the preparation of the relief missions on the delivery of international aid.

At this stage, five aircraft are in transit and are anticipated to arrive in Vanuatu:

• a C130 Hercules from the Royal New Zealand Air Force landed in early afternoon in Port Vila;
• a C130 and two C17 of the Royal Australian Air Force
• and a FANC aircraft

The French CASA departed the Air Base (New Caledonia), on Sunday with a multidisciplinary evaluation team and equipment on board:

• a 4 WD vehicle, a water treatment unit and a generator;
• the Defense Attaché at the Embassy of France in Vanuatu; a transmitter; an engineering officer; the Deputy Director of the DSCGR; an expert from the Red Cross and an electrical engineer.

This first mission is designed to primarily establish a bridge of communication in Vanuatu taking into account of the problems of networks, conducting a reconnaissance of the affected areas and setting priorities for the needs of the affected population in conjunction with local authorities.

In addition, the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) contributes to evaluation work since it has proposed to finance the production of satellite images that will be at the disposal of the international community.

France is considering projecting air vectors (transport and aerial reconnaissance) and maritime (frigate) complementary in close partnership with Australia and the New Zealand immediately.

The first assessment mission will explore the extent of damage and determine, on the basis of the analysis made on the spot, the material and human resources to deploy, including logistically.

Published on 16/03/2015

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