The second phase of ‘Helti Kakae, Helti Famili’, a project to promote food and nutrition security in south Pentecost through sustainable food production systems and improving household products, has been launched in Port Vila.

Funded by the European Union (EU) at approximately VT127 million with a contribution from the Australian NGO Cooperation Program, the project will deliver food security focused activities with technical support from the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD), Department of Livestock and Sustainable Agriculture Pro (STAP).

It will contribute to sustainable improvements in targeted communities in Pentecost reaching a total of 2,650 beneficiaries in two main areas.

The first area is, improved food security through increased capacity at the household and community level for locally adapted seed multiplication, storage and distribution as well as improved nutrition knowledge and practice.

The second area is increasing economic participation of women through household financial management.

This includes women’s equal participation, and greater awareness and support from male community leaders of the importance of gender equality for community development.

Furthermore, 13 farmers will be selected to develop agribusiness innovations, like intercropping grafted fruit plots and duck free range ranging systems and small poultry.

Wan Smol Bag (WSB) will bring its unique nutrition expertise through the support of its Nutrition Centre teams to support outreach campaigns and training in nutrition, with a strong focus placed on the prevention of NCD.

CARE will be building women’s confidence and leadership, and promoting respectful relationships and joint family financial decision making.

The project’s second phase builds on a similar 15-month project of 2020 that supported communities affected by Tropical Cyclone (TC) Harold and the economic impacts of COVID-19 in Tanna and south Pentecost.

As is known, soil fertility decreases that negatively impacts gardens and livestock. This is compounded by natural disasters like cyclones.

The revival and (re)creation of livelihoods require time and investment, especially efforts focused on disaster-resilient crops and the production of local foods, which has better nutritional and food security outcomes.

The ‘Helti Kakae, Helti Famili’ Project second phase was launched by implementing partners- CARE International, Vanuatu Christian Council, WSB, Nasi Tuan.

Deputy Director of DARD, Mark Vurobaravu, Acting Head of Cooperation of the EU Delegation for the Pacific, Pedro Velazquez Hernandez and the First Secretary of the Australian High Commission, Peter Wilson, attended the launching last Friday.