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Tropical Cyclone Judy (TC Judy) struck the archipelago of Vanuatu on 01 March 2023, making landfall on Efate Island, where the capital city of Port Vila is located. On 03 March, 2023, Vanuatu was hit by Tropical Cyclone Kevin (TC Kevin). Both TC Judy and Kevin were Category 4 cyclones that caused significant damage due to wind, heavy rains, flooding and storm surge. Early on March 3rd Vanuatu was also affected by two earthquakes, of magnitude 6.5 and 5.4, with the epicenter around 30 km west off the island of Espiritu Santo, although their impact was fortunately not significant.

According to the National Disaster Management Office (NDMO), a total of 197,388 people (43,623 households) were affected by TC Judy and Kevin, representing approximately 66 percent of the total population. However, more than 80 percent of the population (251,346 people) were affected by cyclone winds of Category 2 to 3. To date, there are no reports of casualties.

TC Judy and Kevin follow on the footsteps of TC Harold which struck Vanuatu on April 2020, which affected 188,000 people. The impact of TC Harold was felt in Vanuatu in parallel to the effects of the Covid-19 crisis, a double impact that had serious consequences for the country. Combined TC Harold and the Covid-19 crisis cost VUV 68 billion (USD $617 million) in damage and losses, equivalent to about 61 percent of GDP in 2020.1 Not long before, in 2015 Vanuatu was struck by another disaster, TC Pam which affected 160,000 people.

The Government of Vanuatu (GoV) declared a State of Emergency on March 02, 2023 (Order No 29 of 2023) in the provinces and districts of Mere Lava, Penama, Ambrym, Paama, Shefa, and Tafea, which was subsequently amended to include the whole country on March 05, 2023 (Order 30 of 2023). Rapid assessment teams were deployed by the GoV on March 7th, initially to 39 Area Councils and subsequently expanded to multisectoral rapid needs assessments in all provinces covered under the state of emergency.

These assessments helped to inform the initial humanitarian response and the development of the National Response Plan with a budget of 6.7 billion Vatu. In addition, the GoV developed an Early Recovery Plan to 1) provide an overview of the sectoral early recovery needs and priorities, and 2) ensure a smooth transition from humanitarian response to recovery. Early recovery needs were estimated to be 3.3 billion Vatu for a period of six months.

The Government of Vanuatu, with the guidance of the Recovery Operations Centre (ROC) conducted a Post Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA) with support from the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the Pacific Community (SPC). The PDNA, which took place during the months of April and May 2023, was implemented in collaboration with ADB, FAO, UNFPA, UNWOMEN, UNICEF, WHO, ILO, the World Bank.

The purpose of the PDNA was to identify the damage and loss caused by TC Judy and Kevin across all sectors, to assess the macro-economic and human impact of these disasters, to estimate the recovery needs in all sectors, and to inform Vanuatu’s short-, medium- and long-term recovery and reconstruction process through a well-planned Recovery Plan aligned to the country’s National Sustainable Development Plan 2016-2030. This report presents the final results of the PDNA.