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Vanuatu: Disaster Risk Management Act (No. 23 of 2019)

February 2020

This Act provides the regulatory framework for disaster management in Vanuatu. This new Act was recommended by the Vanuatu Climate Change and Disaster Risk Reduction Policy of 2015. The objectives of this Act are: (a) to establish the necessary institutions and mandates for effective disaster risk management in Vanuatu, including an integrated approach to disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation, disaster preparedness, response and recovery, at the national, provincial, and municipal level; and (b) to ensure the development and implementation of disaster risk management policies, strategies and plans at national, provincial and municipal levels; and (c) to support a whole-of-society approach to disaster risk management through education awareness, capacity building and training of elected officials, Government employees, the private sector, non-governmental organizations and communities that are also gender responsive and respectful of indigenous and traditional knowledge systems; and (d) to support a whole-of-government approach to disaster risk management, especially the integration of disaster risk reduction and climate change across the different sectors and through all levels of Government, through information-sharing, cooperation and joint planning, as appropriate; and (e) to govern the declaration of emergencies in disaster situations; and (f) to ensure disaster response operations are coordinated and effective; and (g) to facilitate the entry and coordination of international humanitarian assistance when required during disaster situations; and (h) to establish an Emergency Fund

The Act establishes the National Disaster Committee, the National Disaster Management Office, the National Emergency Operations Center and the National Cluster Framework and National Cluster. The Act also provides for establishment of Disaster and climate Change Committees, the Municipal Disaster and Climate Change Committees.