Eleven weeks ago I wrote about my concerns for Vanuatu not only dealing with the looming doom of COVID19 but also the impact which #TCHarold had created and would continue to make.
COVID19 has not entered the shores of Vanuatu – long may that last. Of course, the restrictions come at a huge cost to incomes with 48% of the economy based around tourism. The health of the people of Vanuatu is most important. Some supplies for testing etc. have been provided by donor countries, to ensure some capacity in terms of health.
Cyclone Harold has been and gone and left a massive trail of destruction. Despite the limited (but no doubt very welcomed) resources and aid being air freighted into Vanuatu, families from all around Vanuatu have provided their own aid.
Ship loads of root crops being taken from islands where Harold didn’t reach; to those who did suffer Cyclone Harold’s wrath. Families gathering clothing, household items and food supplies then shipping from Vila to their extended families in Santo. The list goes on.
Family helping family. Resilience. Solutions from within.
We are incredibly grateful that Pango village wasn’t affected by TCHarold. The necessary precautions were taken of course. It meant we could keep producing. However, there was a juggling act of accessing essential raw materials. We had supplies on the sea, but they weren’t going to arrive in time to allow for increased production. Accessing a charter freight flight leaving Auckland last week was perfect timing. We were so pleased to be able to include a few essentials on that flight.
We were relieved when the team at Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade iXc office reached out to us a few weeks ago, to see if they could help. They knew we were struggling to juggle supply with the demand because of #TCHarold. Their financial supports to cover the additional costs we were experiencing, were timely and very welcomed.
We can now breathe a sigh of relief.
Thanks to Vanuatu Chamber of Commerce and Industry Resilience team for coordinating the charter air freight, and to the team at FR8 Logistics who have managed the arrival paperwork for us.
So it all worked out in the end, and I had no need to be worried.
Mi lukim yu