Australia’s humanitarian assistance to Vanuatu

14 October 2017

On 28 September, the Government of Vanuatu ordered a complete evacuation of all 11,600 residents from Ambae Island because of the threat of volcanic eruption.

Australia has responded to the Government of Vanuatu's request for assistance with planning and relief efforts. We are working closely with the Government of Vanuatu, and New Zealand and France through our FRANZ trilateral disaster relief arrangement to assess the humanitarian impact of the evacuations and to provide assistance to affected communities.

Australia's assistance package

On 14 October, Australia increased its humanitarian assistance to Vanuatu to up to $3 million.

This includes:

  • up to $1 million for the distribution and replenishment of humanitarian relief supplies, and assistance for returns
  • up to $1 million through local and Australian NGOs to support ongoing health, clean water, sanitation, and protection activities
  • up to $1 million through existing bilateral programs to mitigate pressures on education and youth, policing and health services

The Australian Defence Force has played a strong role in humanitarian operations, deploying HMAS Choules, HMAS Huon and C17 flights to carry emergency relief supplies to Vanuatu. This includes:

  • 277 family tents and two community tents
  • 1,248 kitchen kits
  • water storage tanks and bladders that can store up to 16,000 litres
  • 1,500 personal inflatable solar lights
  • 500 shelter toolkits

Australia has deployed a team of humanitarian and military experts to assist with planning and liaise with the Vanuatu authorities and other partners. The assistance package also includes funding for aerial surveillance of affected areas and assistance to the Vanuatu police to help manage movement of displaced communities.

Donations

If you would like to contribute to Australia's response to the Ambae volcano in Vanuatu, please consider donating to an agency working with affected communities. Often the most effective ways to support the relief effort in countries affected by disasters is by providing cash donations through organisations responding to the crisis. The Australian Council for International Development (ACFID) has a list of accredited non-government organisations. ACFID also has detailed information about public donations.

More information



Last Updated: 5 October 2017
Residents from Ambae Island receive humanitarian supplies including kitchen kits and tents. Credit: DFAT
Supplies from Australia's humanitarian warehouse in Brisbane are being flown from RAAF Base Amberley to Vanuatu to support communities affected by the Ambae Island evacuation. Credit: DFAT
Australia has released much needed supplies like food, water, shelter and hygiene kits for affected communities on Ambae Island. Credit: DFAT
Australia is working closely with the Government of Vanuatu to deliver urgent supplies to those in need. Credit: DFAT
Supplies from Australia's humanitarian warehouse in Brisbane are being flown from RAAF Base Amberley to Vanuatu to support communities affected by the Ambae Island evacuation. Credit: DFAT
Australian Defence Force aircraft arrive in Vanuatu carrying emergency relief supplies. Credit: DFAT
The Australian Government has provided displaced communities with tents for temporary shelter. Credit: DFAT