Vanuatu: Strengthening the Institutional and Legal Framework for Disaster Risk Management

Context and Objectives

In recent years, Vanuatu faced several natural disasters, such as Tropical Cyclone Pam and volcanic eruptions (Ambae, Ambrym, Tanna). Given the increasing risk from disasters, there is a need for a Disaster Risk Reduction framework and for the harmonization of policies  at national-, sectoral-, and provincial levels. This helps the Government of Vanuatu to reduce the underlying drivers of disaster risk, and take effective action as early as possible after a disaster.

This ACP-EU NDRR project provided technical assistance to relevant Ministries and agencies to strengthen selected national DRM policies and strategies, which led to enhanced capacities for the implementation and prioritization of DRM programs.

Main Activities

Project activities were implemented under the following components: 

Component 1: Mainstreaming DRM Policies and Strategies in Sectoral Development Planning.

Activities under this component provided technical and analytical support to help the government make informed decisions about strengthening resilient development policies. The project assisted the government in analyzing current policies and strategies and identified areas where strengthening and harmonization of policies was needed for effective DRM, in particular for risk reduction.

Component 2: Resilient Recovery

Activities under this component supported policy dialogue and technical inputs for an overarching "Disaster Recovery Framework" (DRF). This DRF offered policy- and strategic guidance for the preparation and implementation of post-disaster recovery measures and "build back better" measures, as well as for releasing, accessing and implementing sources of post-disaster finance.


The project enabled the final analysis and technical input to the Vanuatu Disaster Risk Management Development Policy Grant with a Catastrophe-Deferred Drawdown Option (CAT-DDO). This work included advisory support for policy and institutional reforms, including:

  • Support for reviewing and finalizing the new National Disaster Risk Management Act, which provides for the development and implementation of regulations, frameworks, and plans at the national, provincial and municipal levels. This has enabled the integration of disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation across different sectors including agriculture, infrastructure, water, health, and education.
  • The integration of key disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation-related provisions in the National Land Subdivision Policy, including requirements and guidelines for all land developers to prepare concept plans for site assessments.

Partnerships and Coordination

The project was implemented in close collaboration with the Office of the Prime Minister of Vanuatu and its Department of Strategic Planning, Policy, and Aid Coordination, the Ministry of Finance and Economic Management, and the Ministry of Climate Change and Natural Disasters.

  • Pacific
Window of Action
  • Window 2
Amount approved
  • $236,000
  • 02/2019 - 08/2021