Some 2,694 volcano affected families from Ambae relocated to Santo are expected to be receiving some cash in their bank accounts soon as part of the Oxfam Cash Transfer Programme which is being rolled out.

For a period of three months, starting now until end of February next year, these displaced households will be receiving flexible financial assistance from the cash program to meet their own essential needs such as school fees, shelter materials and food.

Oxfam is implementing this Cash Transfer Programme through funds from New Zealand (NZ) Government through its Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) and the Margaret A.Cargill Philanthropies (MACP).

This cash program recognizes the fact that the needs of all displaced households vary, and everyone’s path to recovery from the shock of displacement will be different.

It initially started with 32 evacuees with disability and sick people that were kept at the new terminal of the NISCOL Wharf in Luganville.

Sandra Hart from the Oxfam Team on Santo said: “We will be covering 100% of evacuee communities in Santo in coordination with the Vanuatu National Bank and ANZ this week.

“Most of our previous recipients used their funds to buy much needed supplies in local stores and markets in Luganville, while some choose to save and deposit the money in their bank accounts,” she said.

One of the 32 beneficiaries, Simeon Alan Tarinako, thanked donors for their assistance.

“Thank you for assisting us the people of Ambae,” he said.

This month’s distribution started yesterday and will continue through December 14.

Oxfam is partnering with Sanma Province, Luganville Municipality, Department of Local Authorities, Vanuatu Red Cross and Vanuatu Disability Promotion and Advocacy to deliver the program on Santo.

Beneficiaries have to be registered with the Oxfam to receive assistance and those that have not done so, should call the Oxfam Office at 5366758 / 7317750.

Oxfam said the cash program will cover approximately 75% percent of the Ambae population displaced by Lombenben’s eruption.

In addition, 571 host families from Santo that have been supporting evacuee families are also receiving support through the programme.

Currently, assistance is being offered to families on Santo only.

Oxfam conveyed that a market assessment is underway on Maewo to identify the best approach of launching the assistance there.

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