Vanuatu Business Resilience Council

Vanuatu Business Resilience Council

2,800 members

The Vanuatu Business Resilience Council (VBRC) is the CBi Member Network in Vanuatu. VBRC is a registered charitable organization under the Vanuatu Financial Services Commission and is a standing committee of the Vanuatu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI). They were established to coordinate and strengthen the engagement of the private sector in disaster risk reduction, emergency preparedness, response and recovery, and climate change adaptation and mitigation in Vanuatu. The VBRC was launched in October 2017 in coordination with the Ministry of Climate Change and through the support of the Connecting Business Initiative (CBi), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) and the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (PIFS). 

VBRC sits as the official private sector observer on the National Advisory Board (NAB) on Climate Change and Disaster Risk Reduction of the Government of Vanuatu. The VBRC is also included in the NAB’s Climate Finance Working Group and Project Screening Committee and also sits on the Vanuatu Climate Action Network’s (VCAN) Climate Finance Working Group to improve collaboration with civil society. These mechanisms allow VBRC to engage in relevant opportunities for public-private partnerships in climate action and disaster risk reduction. VBRC works closely with the Vanuatu National Disaster Management Authority and is part of the government’s logistics cluster.

Since its establishment in 2017, the VBRC has been engaged in several projects and partnerships such as:

  • Supporting women-led businesses through the Phoenix Women in Business programme through which women business owners have been equipped to grow their businesses and impulse positive social change in their communities;
  • Helping local private sector actors through the Green Climate Fund Readiness Project to enhance access to climate finance through tailored information dissemination, project preparation trainings, and resilience building activities;
  • Organizing business continuity preparedness capacity building for local businesses.

On 5 April 2020, Tropical Cyclone Harold – a category 5 cyclone – struck Vanuatu. The country became the first one to respond to a major disaster during the COVID-19 pandemic. Because of border closures, VBRC led relief efforts, coordinating with the Government, the United Nations and NGOs. This included deploying telecommunications teams to reconnect the islands after the cyclone, shipping relief and recovery assistance to remote areas. As part of the recovery, VBRC and Oxfam partnered and launched the Unblocked Cash project, using blockchain technology to provide tap-and-pay cards to provide direct assistance to families recovering from disasters or acute financial distress.

Cover photo: VBRC/Groovy Banana