The Australian Government is providing additional humanitarian support to Vanuatu to assist with the evacuation and resettlement of people on Ambae Island.

For the past week Ambae has been rocked by the largest eruptions since volcanic activity began in September 2017. Ashfall has rendered parts of the island dark in the middle of the day, crops and water sources have suffered severe damage and the Vanuatu Council of Ministers has ordered the island’s population of over 10,000 people be evacuated.

Australia will provide a further $2 million to support the Government of Vanuatu’s evacuation and resettlement efforts. Our assistance will support the evacuation of Ambae Island’s population by commercial vessels. It will also support the Government of Vanuatu and Australian Humanitarian Partnership NGOs to provide essential shelter, water and sanitation, health, education and protection services to the evacuees and host communities on nearby Maewo.

An Australian disaster management expert and a resettlement adviser are currently working in Vanuatu’s National Disaster Management Office. Through the Australia Assists program, Australia will provide further expertise to bolster the Government of Vanuatu’s efforts to resettle Ambae’s population.

This new commitment brings Australian assistance to those affected by volcanic activity on Ambae to $5.55 million since October 2017.

Australia is coordinating closely with the Government of Vanuatu and partners including New Zealand and France. We stand ready to provide further assistance as required.

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