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Declaration of the 37th session of the ACP Parliamentary Assembly on the devastating impact of Cyclone PAM on the island states of Vanuatu, Tuvalu, Solomon Is. and Kiribati in the Pacific region

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The   Parliamentary Assembly of the African Caribbean and Pacific Group of States, meeting at its 37th Session in Brussels, Belgium on 18 March 2015,   
A. Saddened by the loss of lives, people left homeless, the desperate need for food and shelter, the severe shortages of drinking water, and the catastrophic effects upon the socio-economic infrastructures caused by cyclone PAM; and
B. Conscious of the widespread devastation in Vanuatu of private and public buildings, severe infrastructural damage  to roads, communication systems, agricultural assets, electricity grids,  of which  preliminary estimated damages amount to millions of euros with consequent adverse effects on health and livelihoods;
1. Expresses its condolences for the loss of lives and  the pain and suffering endured by the Government and the people of  Vanuatu; and solidarity with Governments and people of Tuvalu, Solomon Islands and Kiribati, which were also affected by the cyclone;
2. Expresses its deep concern over the humanitarian impact  of the cyclone  which left the  island nation of Vanuatu most severely affected, particularly the more heavily populated islands of Tanna and Efate;
3. Calls on the  specialized agencies of the United Nations System and the International Community to  provide financial and technical assistance to help address the humanitarian crisis and support the affected island states of Vanuatu, Tuvalu, Solomon Islands and Kiribati, in the aftermath of the cyclone PAM; 
4. Appeals to ACP member States to help alleviate the suffering caused by cyclone PAM,  to show their solidarity and  make contributions towards the humanitarian crisis situation in Vanuatu and the other affected Pacific Islands; 
5. Welcomes the EU and the ACP Group’s ongoing  collaborative efforts  under the 10th EDF  Intra-ACP framework to  implement  the all-ACP Natural Disaster Risk Reduction Programme through the development of  Early Warning Mechanisms,  Capacity Building Initiatives and long term post-disaster ‘Build Back Better’ reconstruction schemes in all six ACP regions;
6. Recommends that resources be urgently earmarked from the existing EDF Bridging Facility to help support the humanitarian crisis and to address the challenges of social and economic reintegration of the population and communities in all of the affected states in the Pacific region; 
7. Emphasizes  the fact that disasters of this nature starkly demonstrate the fragility and the extreme vulnerability of the economies of Small Island Developing States (SIDS), which can be adversely affected at any moment by natural disasters which  are occurring with increasing frequency in the Region; and
8. Calls on the European Union (EU) and the international community to adopt a fast-track approach to render the required assistance given the importance and the grave urgency of this matter, and facilitate the quickest recovery for the affected Pacific islands.

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