TC Donna Media Release II



The Vanuatu National Disaster Management Office (NDMO) appointed the first female Controller in the National Emergency Operations Centre (NEOC) last week to coordinate the ongoing response and relief in the wake of Tropical Cyclone Donna.

The NEOC is activated for all disasters and major emergency operations requiring coordination. Liaison officers from government agencies and partners are represented in the NEOC to work with the NDMO to:

  • gather information, issue situation reports and operational maps;
  • conduct damage assessments and coordinate support, including donor assistance;
  • make logistical arrangements for relief supplies and distributions; and
  • compile assessment reports and prepare briefing papers.

Ms Alice larem Sanga, who is the NDMO Senior Disaster Management and Climate Change Advisor, was appointed to take charge of the NEOC at the beginning of last week. Ms larem has been Alice larem Sangaworking with the NDMO for the past six years. ‘It was a surprise to be appointed as NEOC Controller but it was a real privilege. It has been a very busy week and I have learnt a lot from working with everyone’ Ms larem said.

Mr Shadrack Welegtabit who is the NDMO Director said this was a very important milestone and showed there are opportunities for females in leadership roles. ‘I am very proud of Alice who has done an excellent job this week to ensure people of Torres and Santo are receiving much needed support. Alice has shown   great leadership which will hopefully inspire more women to take on these roles’ Mr Welegtabit said.

The Australian High Commissioner to Vanuatu, Ms Jenny Da Rin also offered her congratulations, saying ‘the appointment of Ms Iarem into a leadership role within the NEOC sends a positive message to women and girls in Vanuatu and provides a strong role model for the younger generation of girls interested in a career in public service.’

For further information, please contact Mr Shadrack Welegtabit, NDMO Director on email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or telephone 777 1926.

TC Donna Media Release



The Pacific Island region has always received overwhelming offers of support from its fellow islands and close neighbours when struck by disaster.

Donated items can be helpful, but the types of gifts, and the timing in which they are sent is important, or it can unintentionally harm humanitarian response in the early stages. Those wanting to show their support are strongly encouraged to make cash donations to agencies working locally in country. The Government of Vanuatu works with a range of partner agencies, please see a list here.

In the immediate time after a disaster, life saving relief items are the greatest priority. Agencies have stockpiles and identified suppliers at the ready, to purchase and transport these items to the affected communities. These are standardised so communities get consistent quality relief items as much as possible.

It is important that airlines, shipping lines, local wharves, trucks and warehouses are available to do this. When our generous neighbours send second hand clothes, teddy bears, and food items of various quality and local appropriateness, they take up this valuable supply chain space for immediately needed life saving items.

Also, unless there is an organisation arranged to receive, pay clearance fees, and distribute the items, the Government is left to deal with them. This means containers often sit for long periods, taking up room and accumulating fees, while much needed relief items are prioritised. For TC Pam, the storage fees for unsolicited donations were $1.5 million. By the time some containers were opened, many of the items had perished. The Government then had to pay to sort and dispose of them.

In the first three months, cash donations are best. Donated money is used to purchase and transport priority relief items. Where possible humanitarian agencies will purchase in country, which helps re-establish local economies and livelihoods.

In several weeks time, the Government and humanitarian agencies will have a better idea of what donation items will be the most useful to the communities. If needed, a follow up media message will be sent advising of useful items for donation. Thank you for your understanding. For cash donations to immediately assist communities affected by TC Donna, please contact our partner agencies. Please see a list here.

For more information on how some donated items negatively affected TC Pam and TC Winston response operations please refer to the Vanuatu NDMO page here


Tropical Cyclone Pam 2nd Anniversary

Today the 13th of March 2017 marks two years anniversary since Tropical Cyclone Pam hit Vanuatu in 2015. The National Disaster Management Office would like to take the opportunity to remember the destruction, devastation that was caused by the event and particularly those that lost their lives, that were injured and those that were displaced. TC Pam was the strongest cyclone to hit Vanuatu and caused widespread damage across the country. The scale of the damage means that the country is still recovering from the effects two years later.

The NDMO continues to work to improve the ability of the country to plan for, prepare for, respond to and recover from such disasters. We would like to remind communities, villages, partner agencies and individuals to remain vigilant during this cyclone season and keep yourself informed of the latest weather forecasts. For community information on preparing for disasters refer the the NDMO website here and for the latest weather forecasts and tropical cyclone outlook see the Vanuatu Meteorology website here.

Map of recent Pacific Island earthquakes

Update from UN OCHA Pacific Office in Suva

There have been 14 earthquakes greater than Magnitude 6.0 since November 2016. Over 9000 people affected and about 4000 houses damaged in Makira and Malaita provinces of Solomon Islands in December 2016. Other earthquakes did not cause major damage, however humanitarian partners in the region are monitoring the occurence of earthquakes and are on high alert for possible response.