Local Women Donate To Vanuatu Crisis
Bass Coast women have made a significant contribution to the UN Women Cyclone Pam appeal, with money raised at Bass Coast Shire Council’s International Women’s Day Luncheon donated to the cause.
The event raised $2016 for UN Women through silent auctions and donations, with 100 per cent of funds raised going to the UN Women Vanuatu’s programs to protect women from violence and advance the economic participation and empowerment of women, ensuring women are a part of decision-making to shape recovery and reconstruction efforts.
“UN Women is working with the rest of the Pacific Humanitarian team to ensure that humanitarian response and recovery efforts assessments are gender-sensitive and take into account the specific situation and needs of women and girls,” UN Women Multi-Country Deputy Representative and Officer in Charge, Nicolas Burniat, said.
“UN Women has a dedicated gender and humanitarian response advisor in Suva who is already engaging in planning for the response and is ready to be deployed once the humanitarian team in Vanuatu requests our assistance.
Mr Burniat said protection from violence and abuse is an immediate issue for the women staying in the temporary shelters.
“UN Women will also work to ensure that women are fully considered, and have a say, in all stages of the recovery effort.
“Our Markets for Change programme funded by the Australian Government’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade will be an essential part of this,” Mr Burniat said.
“Crops have been destroyed; market places have been devastated.
“UN Women will work to ensure that market vendor associations take part in all discussions with local authorities on rebuilding efforts and will work with them and local authorities in Vanuatu to ensure that women can quickly go back to work and make an income for themselves and their families as soon as possible.”
Mayor, Cr Kimberley Brown, said she was overwhelmed by the generosity of the women who attended the event, which wasn’t primarily a fundraiser, and was proud to make a contribution to the disaster relief effort.
“I can’t imagine what the people of Vanuatu are going through right now, and our thoughts and best wishes are with them,” Cr Brown said.
“I hope our donation can make a difference for at least the lives of a few women in the wake of such an awful natural disaster.”
Anyone wishing to donate to the UN Women Cyclone Pam appeal can do so by visiting https://unwomen.org.au/.