Australia Provides Additional Support to Vanuatu

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MIL OSI – Source: Australian Government – Australia Provides Additional Support to Vanuatu

Minister for Foreign Affairs The Hon Julie Bishop MP

Minister for Health
The Hon Sussan Ley MP
17 March 2015

Today we announce Australia will provide additional medical assistance and urban search and rescue capability in response to the devastation resulting from tropical Cyclone Pam.

“Today’s announcement follows substantial work Australian teams have been doing in Port Vila over the last 36 hours and assessments from the aerial reconnaissance flights carried out in Vanuatu yesterday,” Minister Bishop said.

“Australia will be deploying an additional Australian Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) team of 54 personnel, arriving in Port Vila today to clean-up and repair the Port Vila Hospital Complex.

“The USAR team will assist the Government of Vanuatu to assess the damage and potential recovery needs of other major infrastructure in Port Vila. This deployment will bring the total number of USAR personnel in-country to 56,” Minister Bishop said.

An additional Australian Medical Assistance Team (AUSMAT) of 20 personnel will also be deployed, which is scheduled to arrive in Port Vila tomorrow.

“AUSMAT will provide urgent medical assistance and help to establish a temporary ward at the hospital. We are working closely with the New Zealand Government to coordinate our medical assistance to the Vanuatu Government and those affected by the disaster,” Minister Ley said.

“The arrival of additional personnel will bring the AUSMAT team to a total of 27, including 1 team leader, 5 doctors, 9 nurses, 2 paramedics, 1 radiologist, 1 pharmacist, 5 logisticians, and the 3 member initial assessment team,” Minister Ley said.

An additional four government personnel will also be deployed to coordinate the health and urban rescue effort.

We would like to thank Emergency Management Australia, and the State Governments of New South Wales, Victoria and the Northern Territory for supporting these critical deployments. We will continue to work with the Government of Vanuatu to monitor the situation closely and consider further assistance subject to ongoing assessments.

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Selwyn Manning, BCS (Hons.) MCS (Hons.) is an investigative political journalist with 23 years media experience. He specializes in reportage and analysis of socioeconomics, politics, foreign affairs, and security/intelligence issues. Selwyn has extensive experience as a commentator and has provided live political analysis to a wide range of television and radio organizations broadcasting in New Zealand, Australia and globally including the BBC (Five Live, London) and BBC (World Service). He is currently a correspondent to Australia's FiveAA radio, and is a regular live-on-air panelist on Radio New Zealand's The Panel with broadcaster Jim Mora.

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