Today I will travel to Vanuatu to see first hand the devastating impact Tropical Cyclone Pam has had on the people and economy of Vanuatu.

I will meet with Prime Minister Joe Natuman and Foreign Minister Sato Kilman, and reassure them of Australia’s support for Vanuatu at this challenging time. I will update the Government of Vanuatu on the Australian Defence Force’s increased response to the Australian aid mission to Vanuatu.

The Australian Government continues to expand its support to Vanuatu, including the distribution of supplies for a further 2,500 people, which will arrive on the HMAS Tobruk tomorrow. In addition, Australia is providing over $10 million in relief funding, including $50,000 for emergency sexual and reproductive health services for women in Vanuatu.

Australia remains committed to working in partnership with the Vanuatu Government, in coordination with regional and humanitarian partners, to meet both immediate needs and support Vanuatu’s long-term recovery.

Vanuatu’s National Disaster Management Office, where Australians are providing support, will brief me on the latest situation. I will also see Australia’s Urban Search and Rescue teams at work.

I will meet Australian Government staff and volunteers working in Vanuatu as part of our immediate cyclone response. They include our consular staff working to ensure the welfare of Australians affected by the cyclone.

In addition to today’s announcement, Australia’s response has included:

  • Military deployments - RAAF transport planes;
  • $5 million to assist the efforts of Australian non-government organisations, the Australian Red Cross and United Nations partners, including the World Food Programme for urgent food aid and UNICEF;
  • an initial deployment of humanitarian supplies from Australia to assist up to 5000 people, including water and sanitation and shelter kits;
  • deployment of a Crisis Response Team to provide consular assistance to Australian citizens and to coordinate Australia’s humanitarian assistance;
  • deployment of Australian Urban Search and Rescue personnel;
  • deployment of Australian Medical Assistance Teams (AUSMAT); and
  • deployment of an Australian disaster expert to the United Nations Disaster Assessment and Coordination team.

Media enquiries

  • Minister's office: (02) 6277 7500
  • DFAT Media Liaison: (02) 6261 1555