AMBAE ISLAND, VANUATU (1 December 2017) — The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has provided a $200,000 grant to the Government of Vanuatu in the wake of volcanic eruptions on Ambae Island, Penama province in Vanuatu. The grant, provided by the Asia Pacific Disaster Response Fund, will help fund the Vanuatu Manaro Volcano Disaster Response Project.
On 26 September, a state of emergency for Ambae Island was declared by the Government of Vanuatu and a mass evacuation of the island’s entire population of 11,000 was called. People from the western and northern parts of the island were evacuated to Santo Island, while people from the eastern part were evacuated to Maewo and Pentecost islands. The Manaro volcano’s increased activity has contaminated many of the island’s water resources.
“The Manaro volcano eruptions have ruined livelihoods and compromised food and water security,” said Emma Fan, Regional Director of ADB’s Pacific Liaison and Coordination Office in Sydney. “The ADB financing will help supplement the assistance provided by the government and other development partners.”
The ADB grant will primarily be used for repatriation costs and related expenses. The assistance has been arranged in close coordination with other development partners.
ADB began working with the Government of Vanuatu in 1981. ADB has since approved 14 loans totaling $89.36 million, 10 grants worth $69.61 million in total, and 63 technical assistance projects worth $22.9 million.
ADB, based in Manila, is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration. Established in 1966, ADB is celebrating 50 years of development partnership in the region. It is owned by 67 members—48 from the region. In 2016, ADB assistance totaled $31.7 billion, including $14 billion in cofinancing.