Volcano victims can use 20% fund for housing: VNPF

Members of the Vanuatu National Provident Fund (VNPF) on Ambae affected by the volcano crisis can use 20% from their pension retirement fund for housing purpose.

The General Manager (GM) of VNPF, Parmod Achary, has announced that VNPF has received an order passed by parliament to assist members who have lost their homes to the volcano and are struggling to get back on their feet.

Some families on Ambae have fled their homes once volcanic ash begun falling since March this year, threatening livelihoods. Families relocated to another island wanting to build new homes can be assisted.

The order includes members who reside and have property on Ambae island.

GM Achary said: “We will explore all possibilities and see which is the best option to assist the affected members. For example, we will look at the option of building low cost houses and selling it to them.

“We will work with the National Bank of Vanuatu (NBV) to carry out the government gazette.

“The procedures of withdrawal will be discussed with the board and a formal announcement will be made for members to start using their 20% fund once the process is ready”.

VNPF has around 30 members on Ambae.

This housing assistance for Ambae will be a pilot study for the housing scheme VNPF plans to introduce in the future to extend benefits to members , said the VNPF GM.

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