This policy aims to help guide emergency and development planners to work with the Government of Vanuatu to address the needs of all communities affected by displacement. The policy also aims to enable government ministries to work together to provide protections for people at each stage of the displacement cycle, with the goal of achieving durable solutions for all people affected by displacement.
By strengthening existing planning initiatives, multi-hazards mapping, disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation efforts, the policy seeks to reduce the triggers of displacement as much as possible. It recognises that planned relocation is an option of last resort. Where communities do need to move away from hazards, either temporarily or permanently, the policy aims to ensure that lessons learned from previous relocation experiences globally and in the Pacific are taken into account, so that movement takes place with dignity and with appropriate safeguards and human rights protections in place.
Displacement risks are addressed in the broader mobility context of Vanuatu, recognising that displacement is triggered not only by natural hazards, but also by other crises. In this way, the concept of “disaster”, as understood in this policy, is broad and does not only relate to natural hazards, but also includes a range of crises affecting communities, including evictions, land conflicts and development-induced displacement. The policy aims not to discriminate depending on the trigger for displacement, but rather to approach displacement holistically in order to provide assistance to affected communities across a range of different scenarios following a common set of principles and standards.
The policy proposes twelve strategic priority areas for action to ensure displacement and human mobility considerations are mainstreamed into Vanuatu’s planning at national, provincial and local levels, building on existing national policy initiatives. Strategic areas are grouped into systems level interventions and sectoral-level interventions. Systems-level interventions relate to:
- institutions and governance
- safeguards and protection
- evidence, information and monitoring
- capacity-building, training and resources.
Sectoral-level interventions relate to:
- safety and security
- land, housing, planning and environment
- health and well-being
- infrastructure and connectivity
- agriculture, food security and livelihoods
- traditional knowledge, culture and documentation
- access to justice and public participation.
The policy also identifies cross-cutting issues that relate to and underpin all of the twelve areas, such as gender responsiveness, social inclusion, community participation, disaster risk reduction, climate change adaptation and safe, well-managed migration.