In March 2015, Vanuatu was affected by the most intense cyclone in its and the Pacific’s recorded history – Tropical Cyclone Pam.  The Government issued its first ever general appeal for international assistance, and this prompted an international response that far exceeded anything previously experienced on the island nation.

Scores of international organizations, NGOs and bilateral partners including foreign militaries flooded into the country, many with minimal knowledge of national actors, institutions and established ways of working in the country.  Against such a backdrop, coordination proved challenging both among the humanitarian community, as well as with the national authorities.

Two years later, things were very different, when TC Donna made landfall. The significant investments made by the Government of Vanuatu and its partners in preparedness and response paid off. Part of this has been efforts to strengthen the risk governance framework for the country including institutionalizing procedures for the coordination of foreign disaster assistance with support from Red Cross (based on the IDRL Guidelines).

In celebration of the 10 year anniversary of the International Disaster Response Laws (IDRL) Guidelines in late 2017, Vanuatu’s experiences and progress have been documented in in the IDRL Impact Series.