International aid efforts are helping Tuvalu with a critical water shortage, with an emergency now declared in Funafuti.
The International Federation of the Red Cross regional office is assisting the Tuvalu Red Cross to deal with low fresh water levels on Nukulaelae, south of Funafuti.
A joint assessment mission was sent to Nukulaelae last week, where the team also delivered 11,000 litres of water to its more than 300 people residents that should last for about two weeks.
The IFRC Disaster Management co-ordinator, Ysabeau Rycx, says the water shortage has also hit the capital island.
“They have declared a state of emergency for the next 14 days because there is a low level of water on Funafuti Island as well.”
The first Pacific study of national policies and legal frameworks for managing foreign disaster response has been completed. The study is on Vanuatu, one of the Pacific island countries that are most vulnerable to natural hazards, in particular earthquakes, volcanic activities and cyclones. The study highlights both good practices as well as significant gaps.
The recommendations include making amendments to the customs, quarantine, and immigration laws and/or plans, and importantly the disaster risk management act and plans. In the disaster risk management sector it was observed that annually reviewed national level response plans do exist and do include some aspects of requesting aid and the entry of it. The issues covered are though not comprehensive and government departments and agencies, other than NDMO, have had minimal involvement in their drafting. They are also not well known by all those that play a role in response.
Oxfam has expressed alarm over the floods in Sindh and Balochistan provinces, as only US$1.30 has been committed per person by international donors in the first 10 days of the UN appeal as opposed to US$3.20 committed in the same period during last year’s floods.
Oxfam calls on the Government of Pakistan and the international donor community to dig deep into their resources and rapidly increase their funding to prevent the disaster from deteriorating further. The agency warns that the situation of millions of people will worsen unless more aid arrives.