The Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) is being utilized by Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) to procure the required agricultural inputs and working in collaboration with the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD) to develop technical guidance materials and communications.

Beneficiary households will then have advice on the appropriate use of the supplied inputs, taking into account their different education and information levels.

The project objective is to provide urgent livelihoods assistance to the 1,700 most vulnerable people households affected by Tropical Cyclone (TC) Harold on the worst affected islands of Pentecost (Central Pentecost 1&Central Pentecost 2), Ambae (South and West), and Paama island.

These three islands were identified by Food Security and Agriculture Cluster (FSAC) and the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Forestry and Biosecurity (MALFFB).

The targeted islands of Pentecost, Ambae and Paama with a total of 1,700 households that are affected by TC Harold that the CERF fund is sufficient to meet the agricultural input needs of the required number of households.

MALFFB senior management has approved the required households to establish the most urgent needs within the target islands, to ensure that the highest priority needs are met.

The criteria for the selection of beneficiary households is defined, lists of beneficiary households will subsequently be prepared (with population disaggregated by gender, age groupings and disability), adopting both the gender and Affected Population Approach (AAP) approaches.

A gender approach, combined with the Accountability to Affected Populations (AAP) approach, will be used to assess the needs for livelihood assistance to ensure that women and men can equally benefit from the intervention and that women are adequately represented and participate in planned activities.

Local seeds of early maturing climate resilient crops known by the farmers and adapted to agro-ecological context with the addition of agricultural tools will be provided to allow for planting of early maturing crops immediately after TC Harold.

Priority will be given to households whose food and seed reserves were lost, crops damaged and perished. The criteria will also prioritize elderly and other disadvantaged and vulnerable groups.

The selection of the beneficiaries was made in close collaboration with provincial government, MALFFB provincial level relief committees and relevant Non- Government Organizations (NGOs) present in the project area, with representatives of women’s organizations and groups.

The intervention will replenish agricultural tools lost and provide agricultural inputs of early maturing crops that can be harvested from 90 days after planting.

Crops selected for this intervention are vegetables (tomato, onion, cabbage, leaf cabbage and okra, pumpkins, and common beans), fast growing root crops and farming tools (hoes, knives, crowbars, watering cans and many more).

The agricultural inputs and technical guidance materials/communications will be distributed to beneficiary households across the target islands.

FAO will work with the FSAC and its members, as well as the MALFFB, to coordinate effectively to establish if the households in the target islands that are not a beneficiary of the CERF intervention are in need of agricultural inputs, and if so to explore other project options for meeting those needs.

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