RNZI – The leader of the United Nations Disaster Assessment Co-ordination team in Vanuatu says authorities are now moving into a second phase of assessment for the country’s long-term recovery after cyclone Pam.
Sebastian Rhodes Stampa says until now, the main focus has been to raise money and get basic supplies such as food, shelter and water distributed to the people who need it.
He says now the focus will be on identifying the people who are still in need, whether the response needs to be changed, and looking at longer-term planning.
“So we’re still addressing some fairly critical needs, but we’re also looking at the life-sustaining and early recovery needs. I mean, you’ve got something like 95 percent of crops wiped out in the affected area, and people need planting kits and seeds so they can start getting a crop in now for the next harvest.”
Meanwhile, the United Nations and the Vanuatu Government are looking at ways to ease the workload on national health authorities as emergency medical teams start to leave the country.
The Pacific Representative for UNICEF, Karen Allen who is in Port Vila says many lives have been saved by the 15 emergency medical teams from various countries including New Zealand but she says their work is coming to an end.
“What we are looking at now with the Ministry of Health and the World Health Organisation (WHO) is how to replace those emergency medical teams as they began to leave. With the Ni-Vanuatu doctors and nurses that need to get back to work and for that they need some resources.”
Karen Allen says the many lives saved by the international emergency medical teams has been one of the biggest positives.