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Vanuatu

OUR WORK IN VANUATU

The Pacific nation of Vanuatu, made up of 82 islands, has the highest risk of natural disasters in the world. The country experiences frequent earthquakes, cyclones and volcanic eruptions, and the compounding impact of climate change is threatening people’s livelihoods and their ability to source food and water.

Ni-Vanuatu society is founded on strong family and kinship networks, which provide a social safety net for the most vulnerable people. However, Vanuatu also has persistent and high rates of gender-based violence, with 60% of women having experienced physical or sexual intimate partner violence. The impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic have further increased gender-based violence and limited the economic empowerment of women and other marginalised groups.

For over 30 years, Oxfam has been working in Vanuatu to reduce inequality and increase opportunities for women, young people and people living with disabilities.

KEY AREAS OF WORK

OUR PROJECTS IN VANUATU

Together We Are Stronger project

Harmful social norms in Vanuatu limit women and other marginalised groups from making decisions about their own lives. Oxfam is working to reduce the inequalities experienced by women, young people, LGBTQIA+ people and anyone living with a disability. This project will work with local organisations to create safe spaces for marginalised groups to learn from one another and challenge harmful social norms. Our partner organisations are led and represented by people from diverse backgrounds.

Disaster Ready – Vanuatu

Vanuatu is the most disaster-prone country in the world. Oxfam is working with six local civil society organisations and 20 Community Disaster and Climate Change Committees in Vanuatu to strengthen their resilience, preparedness and response to disasters. We are enhancing our partners’ ability to mount cash and voucher-based responses during emergencies and improving the coordination of civil society organisations during a disaster. This project is part of the Australian Government-supported Disaster READY program, which is working with local partners in the Pacific and Timor-Leste to strengthen their capability to respond to — and recover from — disasters.

Male Advocacy for Safer Homes

Two thirds of women in Vanuatu have experienced physical and/or sexual violence by a spouse or partner and this abuse continues through pregnancy. Women and girls with disabilities are affected disproportionately by violence and LGBTI people lack legal as well other forms of protection against violence. Efforts to prevent and respond to the violence are hampered not only by pervasive attitudes that normalise violence against women and children, but also by Vanuatu’s dispersed island geography, by limitations in government resources and services, and by systemic gender inequity.

Oxfam works in partnership with the Vanuatu Women’s Centre (VWC), an organisation that addresses violence against women and girls. This project will work to contribute to VWC’s overarching goal of eliminating violence against women and children throughout Vanuatu. Oxfam’s partnership with VWC aims to provide effective prevention and response mechanisms in Malampa province by providing accessible, confidential and effective crisis counselling and support services, and legal information, representation and assistance. It includes outreach to raise awareness about preventing gender-based violence, the law, and human rights. 

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