President of Vanuatu, Baldwin Lonsdale, met with United Nations Secretary General on Saturday 14 March, on the margins of the Third United Nations World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction.
The head of the UN, Ban Ki-moon, expressed his, and the organisation’s, full commitment to Vanuatu, adding that UN stands ready to assist the island nation. He highlighted the significance of the Sendai conference, and said that Vanuatu had already been suffering greatly from climate change, and storms such as Cyclone Pam “only exacerbate the challenges that the country faces.”
The two leaders also discussed the post-2015 development agenda, including the empowerment of women.
World Bank Group has also expressed concerns for the devastation caused by Pam to Vanuatu.
In a statement, World Bank Group President, Jim Yong Kim, said “our hearts go out to the people of Vanuatu in the wake of the devastation from Cyclone Pam. Vanuatu is ranked as one of the world’s most at-risk countries to natural disasters because of its vulnerability and exposure to cyclones.”
The situation is being monitored closely by the World Bank’s disaster risk management (DRM) team; and the World Bank Group is now looking at every possible avenue and working with partners to support the people of Vanuatu.
Given the intensity of the event and reports of severe damage, the World Bank is exploring the possibility of a rapid insurance pay-out to the Government of Vanuatu under the Pacific Disaster Risk Financing Insurance Program (PCRAFI).
The World Bank will be available to assist with a post-disaster needs assessment if requested by the government.
Source: UN/World Bank Group