March 15, 2015. Today I announce that the Australian Government will provide an initial package of support to Vanuatu, as it responds to the devastation inflicted by Tropical Cyclone Pam.
This support responds to a request from the Government of Vanuatu. Australia stands with Vanuatu, our close friend and partner, at this difficult time. Our thoughts and sympathy go out to all those affected.
The initial package of assistance from Australia will include:
- $5 million to assist the efforts of Australian non-government organisations, the Red Cross and United Nations partners;
- the deployment of humanitarian supplies from Australia to assist up to 5,000 people, including water and sanitation and shelter kits;
- the deployment of an Australian medical team and an urban search and rescue assessment team;
- the deployment of a DFAT Crisis Response Team, comprising eight officials to boost consular support to Australian citizens and coordinate Australia?s humanitarian assistance; and
- the deployment of an Australian disaster expert to the United Nations Disaster Assessment and Coordination team.
A first contingent of Australian officials and supplies arrived in Port Vila at approximately 1200 pm (local time).
Australians with concerns for the welfare of family and friends in Vanuatu should first attempt to contact them directly. If unable to do so, Australians can call the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre on 1300 555 135 (option 6), or +61 2 6261 3305 if overseas.