FRENCH ASSISTANCE IN VANUATU
FRENCH ASSISTANCE IN VANUATU
In an interview with the President of Vanuatu yesterday, the President of the French Republic, François Hollande said that assistance put into place since last Sunday would be “amplified in the next few days to respond to the urgency of the situation, assess needs and to allow the reconstruction of the country”.
Since Sunday, March 16, the coordination and organization of international aid contributions continues at the High Commission of the Republic in New Caledonia, with the consular authorities of New Zealand and Australia.
In recent days, the French civil and military assets have been deployed from New Caledonia to meet the demand of assistance by Vanuatu government.
Air vectors (two aircraft and two helicopters of the Armed Forces in New Caledonia - an aircraft of the Armed Forces in French Polynesia came reinforced) have allowed for reconnaissance flights in the affected areas.
By sea, the Red Cross and Caledonian Tanna Solidarity Association were able to send humanitarian supplies aboard the French navy frigate Vendémiaire.
And since Wednesday, March 18, at the request of the Government of Vanuatu, a French aid mission was deployed to Tanna, on Thursday, March 19, in order to provide local support and assistance to the affected population.
On the request of Tafea Province authorities, the team has already accomplished a huge work. They are clearing a track leading to a spring that supplies 200 people with drinking water.
Tomorrow (March 20), a medical team of 14 people from the Tanna Solidarity association whose ties remain strong with local clinics will also be projected on the island with medical equipment, medicines and necessary food staples.
Collective help of New Caledonia
The High Commissioner of the Republic of New Caledonia met with other stakeholders (Government of New Caledonia, conferences, provinces, associations of mayors) together with the Consul General of Vanuatu and the Red Cross.
And in the meeting, it was decided that any contribution to the public authorities (Provinces, Congress and Municipalities) towards Vanuatu should be made on a coordinate way to meet the priority needs. The High Commission of the republic is in charge of this coordination, and will liaise with the General Consulate of Vanuatu to this end.
The close cooperation established since early Saturday, March 14, between the services of High Commission of the Republic and the Government of New Caledonia allowed to ensure the following missions:
• Coordination of associative action in support of the Vanuatu people;
• Activation of the Population Information Unit (CIP);
• Activation of medico-psychological emergency cell (WAC);
Psychological support cell for students from UNC Ni-Vanuatu
A psychological support cell consisting of a psychologist and an assistant social worker has been activated at the University of New Caledonia (UNC). This cell is to listen to students from UNC, whose families are on the islands of Vanuatu. To contact this cell, an email address has been created: firstname.lastname@example.org
The High Commissioner of the Republic acknowledges everyone who have shown solidarity facing the dramatic consequences of Tropical Cyclone Pam and who have contributed collectively in response to the call of Vanuatu.