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Evacuation from Ambae 2017

Evacuation from Ambae 2017

Findings and recommendations from Needs Assessment of people with disabilities in Vanuatu

Following volcanic activity on Ambae in Vanuatu October 2017, the Pacific Disability Forum (PDF) together with the Vanuatu Disability Promotion & Advocacy Association (VDPA) and CBM New Zealand have published a summary report on needs identified by children and adults with disabilities during the evacuation. With moderate risk of eruption threatening the safety of 11,000 people who called the island home, all were evacuated to neighbouring islands by air or boat. The process was particularly challenging for adults and children with disabilities who had not travelled off the island before. Barriers identified included the evacuation process by boat, inaccessible evacuation centres, disruption to schooling and a lack of disability disaggregated statistics. Most evacuees were able to return to Ambae within a month.

Six months on, the volcano on Ambae Island remains at Alert Level 3 indicating a state of minor eruption and the Government of Vanuatu has decided to evacuate Ambae residents indefinitely. The findings and recommendations from the needs assessment are particularly pertinent at this time to promote inclusion within the evacuation processes.

CBM New Zealand along with PDF, the Regional peak body representing organisations of persons with disabilities (DPOs) in the Pacific, will continue to support VDPA who are poised and ready to assist with the evacuation. This partnership between CBM, PDF and DPOs throughout the Pacific works toward a regional approach for inclusive humanitarian action.

Click here to read report 


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