Vanuatu is an island country located in the South Pacific Ocean. It is highly susceptible to natural hazards, such as floods, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and cyclones. In April 2020, Tropical Cyclone Harold, which is the most powerful storm to hit Vanuatu in the last two years since Cyclone Pam in 2015, ravaged Vanuatu's islands and caused significant damage to the communities while the country was on COVID-19 pandemic lockdown. Thousands of families were severely affected and displaced, buildings were damaged and flattened cutting off electricity and water. Through Vanuatu's government combined efforts and engagement with several private sector members, the Vanuatu Business Resilience Council (VBRC) successfully implemented its response and recovery plans throughout the affected islands.
The Vanuatu Business Resilience Council (VBRC), established in October 2017, is a standing committee of the Vanuatu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) and a network member of the Connecting Business initiative (CBi) and Pacific Islands Private Sector Organizations (PIPSO) Pacific Business Resilience Network.
One of the primary roles of VBRC is to coordinate the activities and strengthen the engagement of the private sectors with the government in disaster preparedness, response, and recovery activities, including climate change adaptation and mitigation within Vanuatu.
VBRC's Executive Committee comprises of local business owners and private-sector leaders fully engaging with the government, civil society, donors, and development partners to work closely together to meet the organization's mission and goals.
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Photo credit: VBRC/Dr. Bartlett