Richard Butler | RNZ | April 16th, 2019
The U.S. Government and the Vanuatu Chamber of Commerce have launched a new training program that will help businesses in Vanuatu prepare for, and recover from natural disasters.
The training is part of the United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Ready project, which is strengthening the environmental and disaster resilience of Pacific Island Countries.
The program will inform representatives from the Vanuatu Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Department of Tourism, Youth Challenge, Business Link Pacific and The National Bank of Vanuatu on the importance of business continuity planning, the role of first responders, and recovery after disasters. Participants will also learn about government services available during disasters and community disaster management plans.
“The U.S. government is committed to work with our partners to become more resilient to extreme variations in climate and natural disasters as we jointly fulfill our vision of a more resilient Pacific Islands region,” Ambassador Catherine Ebert-Gray said. “This training program not only helps businesses to better prepare for disasters, but also position themselves to effectively contribute to recovery efforts.”
Following this training, participants will travel to Santo, Tanna and Malekula to deliver the course to small- and medium- sized enterprises, including local tourist operators, hotels, women’s groups involved in local craft production and local banks.
“We are proud to be working with USAID to support a cadre of trainers to ensure that disaster planning becomes a part of every Vanuatu business to minimize economic losses that come with disasters. To have our businesses remain open and contributing to our country’s recovery will be a huge milestone in our path to resilience,” said Ms. Astrid Boulekone, Chief Executive Officer of the Vanuatu Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
USAID’s five-year Ready project strengthens the capacity of governments and institutions to develop and implement effective environmental and disaster mitigation policies and strategies. Ready works in 11 Pacific Island Countries: Fiji, Kiribati, Federated States of Micronesia, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu.