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No Turning Back: Local leadership in Vanuatu’s response to Tropical Cyclone Harold


In the midst of the COVID-19 global pandemic, Tropical Cyclone Harold, a category 5 cyclone, hit Vanuatu on Monday 06 April 2020. The Vanuatu government and the humanitarian community recognised early on that the response would be different by necessity. No international surge deployments were available, and technical expertise needed to be sought internally.

Within an increasingly strong Vanuatu humanitarian community, national and local actors stepped up to demonstrate that humanitarian local leadership is more than an aspiration in the Pacific. This practice paper is a rapid analysis of Vanuatu’s response to Tropical Cyclone Harold, 50 days after the disaster. In exploring the extent and implications of the locally led response, it is intended to stimulate discussion and inform localisation practice in Vanuatu and in the region.

Read the report in Bislama here.