Ministerial Orders Issued in Response to TC Harold and COVID-19

Caretaker Minister of Meteorology, Geological Hazards and Climate Change Bruno Leingkone has issued several orders under the Disaster Risk Management Act to direct Government agencies responding to COVID-19 and Tropical Cyclone Harold.

The orders are as follows:

1. The Ministry of Infrastructure and Public Utilities and the Department of Ports and Harbor must ensure that all Vanuatu borders are not open to receive any international flights or vessels unless these international flights or vessels are for these purposes as outlined in paragraph (2).

2. The Ministry of Infrastructure and Public Utilities and the Department of Ports and Harbor must ensure that there are restrictions in line with COVID-19 prevention and containment measures at all Vanuatu borders in relation to international relief supplies.

3. The Vanuatu Police Force must ensure that peace and security is maintained throughout Vanuatu.

4. The Ministry of Health must improve all health facilities according to IPC standards.

5. The Ministry of Health must continue to raise awareness for the general public throughout Vanuatu on maintaining good hygiene practices.

6. All Ministries to reprioritize resources towards combatting COVID-19 prior to utilization of emergency fund.

The caretaker Minister also issued the following directions relating to TC Harold:

1. The Director of the National Disaster Management Office must increase the capacity of the NDMO in Luganville to coordinate TC Harold response and relief in Luganville and all other provinces affected.

2. The Director of the National Disaster Management Office must ensure that water tanks donated by the Government of Japan be distributed to all affected areas.

3. The Vanuatu Police Force must ensure that peace and security is maintained in all affected areas.

4. The Director General of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Management must direct towards TC Harold response and recovery Vt125 million from the Stimulus package.

5. The Director General of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Management must ensure that ships affected are covered under the Stimulus package.

6. The Ministry of Infrastructure and Public Utilities must reprioritize its resources to the affected provinces:

a. To clear and maintain roads

b. To clear airstrips and ports

c. To clear access to telecommunications towers

7. All ministries to reprioritize resources towards TC Harold response prior to utilization of emergency fund.

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