Minister responsible for the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MoIA), Christophe Emelee, announced the total assistance provided through the MoIA in the presence of Port Vila City Council Councillors and staff, MoIA Directors and their staff.
Minister Emelee last week announced the total amount of funds released to provinces and municipalities throughout the country.
These announcements were made to demonstrate the presence of local authorities across the country to respond to these immediate needs while waiting for NDMO assistance to be provided. The announcement was also followed by handing over of over 1,300 bags of rice purchased to the Port Vila City Council (PVCC) who will coordinate the distribution of the rice to 1,300 households in collaboration with the Food Security & Agriculture Cluster (FSAC) team led by the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Forestry, Fisheries, and Biosecurity (MALFFB).
Funds for the purchases of the rice were sourced within the MoIA through the Department of Local Authorities (DLA), Department of Urban Affairs (DUAP) and the Corporate Services of the Ministry. Each of these agencies contributed around VT2,000,000 towards the purchasing of the rice while the DUAP also contributed additional funds towards the cleaning and purchasing of some tools to assist with cleaning the PVCC.
Unfortunately, PVCC’s contribution was not evident in this immediate assistance however it is hoped that PVCC will contribute in the immediate future. The Minister has appealed to the Councillors to leave aside their political differences and focus on responding to the needs of the Port Vila residents who are taxpayers and residents of Port Vila City.
Across the country, Minister Emelee announced the following assistance, which local authorities have managed to secure and distribute to affected communities.
The DLA secured 1,323 bags of rice worth more than VT2.9 million in Luganville to be shipped to the TORBA and PENAMA Provincial Government Councils to assist the relief efforts of the NDMO. DLA was able to release over VT10million of which VT600,000 to be released to all the Area Councils in TORBA Province while the remaining funds to be utilised at the provincial headquarter.
In SANMA, the SANMA Provincial Government Council (SPGC) purchased 800 bags of rice to support the North West and West Coast Area Council who were most affected by Tropical Cyclones (TCs) Judy and Kevin. In addition to these rations, Non-Food Items (NFIs) provided by Red Cross will be also provided and some of Sanma Provincial Emergency Operations Centre (PEOC) staff are deployed to these Area Councils to coordinate the distributions of these items and rations. NFIs and staff have already been deployed as of yesterday on RVS Mataweli. The SPGC is supporting the RVS Mataweli to deliver all the items to these Area Councils. The total amount of the immediate response to the affected Area Councils is around VT1.93 million.
In collaboration with DLA and MoIA, over VT10 million was released to SANMA Province of which VT600, 000 will be released to each Area Councils to assist with assessment and immediate response.
In PENAMA, the PENAMA Provincial Government Council contributed to the purchasing of fuel to assist with the assessments. The DLA secured a further VT9.9 million of which VT600,000 will be distributed to each Area Councils while the remaining funds to be used for the Provincial Centre.
The DLA secured a grant of VT10.8 million of which VT600,000 will be released to each Area Councils. Additional assistance will be provided with the assessments in order to ensure comprehensive assessments are undertaken.
In SHEFA, SHEFA Provincial Government Council distributed 810 bags of rice to its Area Council and 160 Tarpaulins. The DLA secured over VT20 million which VT600,000 is to be released to each Area Council to assist with response or recovery efforts. Remaining funds will be used at the Provincial center for further assistance to the affected communities of TCs Judy and Kevin.
For TAFEA, the DLA secured a total of over VT15 million of which VT600,000 will be released to each Area Councils while the remaining funds to be utilised for the Provincial Headquarter.
These assistances have been made possible through the support of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Management (MoFEM) in collaboration with the MoIA. All efforts provided through the local authorities will be coordinated closely with the FSAC and data collected will be compiled as part of the overall assistance of the Vanuatu Government to the affected communities.
Minister Emelee strongly emphasised the importance of working together as team and serving the people affected throughout the country while leaving aside political differences. Local Authorities are urged to urgently respond to the communities while further assistance will be coming through the NDMO.
Assistance provided to the Port Vila residents is in response to the increasing demand for immediate respond to the most vulnerable population of Port Vila who were already affected by COVID-19 and high prices of goods in the two urban centres. These assistances provided are just the first efforts while additional assistance will be provided later when more funds are secured.
The Minister conveyed his appreciation to the team effort of all provinces and Port Vila Municipalities for their collaborations to making this possible.
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