GLOBAL SHELTER CLUSTER ANNUAL MEETING 2020
GSC Online Meeting 2020: Vanuatu Country Presentation
Vanuatu Coordination Team will present their country profile.
Three key takeaways from the session:
1. COVID added layers of complexity to the response
- Remote coordination support. Coordination of the response was led by the National Shelter Cluster Lead from the Public Works Department who was relatively new to the role. Support was provided remotely by the IFRC Suva shelter team, and the Global Shelter Cluster Focal Point for Coordination stationed in Melbourne.
- Speed of the response. The response was delayed due to strict border controls and quarantine time for imported relief items compounded by the in-country logistical challenges and adverse weather.
- Quality of the response. Fewer coordination meetings were held due to unavailability of key coordination team members who were assigned to the affected areas, so there was less space to discuss and develop common approaches considering key issues such as PGI and urban response. The SCT adapted to this through using the sitrep as a key communication channel with partners, but this was generally limited to one-way communication. Further adaptation is required for future responses.
2. COVID acted to accelerate key issues of localisation, and greening of the response
- Local leadership of the response.
- Greening of the response. Injection of local natural materials in the absence of internationally procured relief items. i.e. local thatching materials were used to construct roofs in some areas, in the absence of tarpaulins.
3. Investment in preparedness enabled and enhanced remote coordination support (it could have been a nightmare without this!)
- Existing preparedness measures in place prior to TC Harold include institutional strengthening (revision of job descriptions, TOR, SOPs), cyclone preparedness meetings, response reviews, development of cluster work plan, drafting and revision of technical guidance (standards, minimum relief packages, environment, cash etc), training packages and increased visibility of the cluster (logos, Facebook page, uniforms).
- Next steps for preparedness could include: contingency planning around scenario of closure of international border i.e. revision of prepositioning strategy; further formalisation of role of PWD as Shelter Cluster Lead under the new DRM Act; continued institutional strengthening of PWD at national and provincial levels; continued advocacy, dissemination, and evaluation of shelter cluster tools and products.
Meeting presentation can be found here.
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