Participants attending the GIHA at the TAFEA Provincial headquarters

The Department of Women’s Affairs is conducting a 4-day workshop on Gender In Humanitarian Action (GIHA) at the TAFEA Provincial headquarters this week.

The participants are mainly from the Government departments, community leaders and NGO partners.

The purpose of the workshop was to formally establish the Tafea Provincial Gender and Protection Cluster and build the capacity of the members to improve preparedness for responding to natural disasters in gender – and protection – sensitive manner, as well as helping them make sure that there is timely, effective and coordinated assistance provided to persons affected by natural disasters during emergency operations.

Department of Women’s Affairs Director, Rothina Ilo Noka, said Vanuatu is vulnerable to disasters and on Tanna a lot of lessons were learned after Tropical cyclone Pam.

“The government is stepping forward through its 9 clusters on national level, and we want to replicate these down to the provincial level so that the TAC members, the heads of government, the NGO heads can take the lead to respond to a disaster,” says Mrs Noka.

She thanked the TAFEA Provincial government through its Secretary General and his team for their disaster response and recovery efforts.

“The cluster that we are responsible for in our Ministry, is ‘Gender and protection cluster’,” Director Noka said.

“This cluster is responsible for specific needs for all age groups, including people living with a disability.

“We all know that during a disaster we are all affected differently. So it is very important that the government set up this cluster to meet specific needs.