The formation of the Gender & Protection Cluster in Vanuatu on 13 March 2014 coincided with the Tropical Cyclone (TC) Lusi hitting Vanuatu. The response was the first time that gender and protection considered as part of the assessmet and response phases. In the light of the experience gained during that emergency, and the frequency and severe impact of natural disasters in Vanuatu, it was decided that the work of the cluster should be ongoing. Thus, as part of the NDMO's coordination structure, the Gender & Protection Cluster contributes to improving preparedness for responding to natural disasters in a gender-and protection-sensitive manner, and ensuring that timly, effective and coordinated assistance is provided to persons affected by natural disasters in Vanuatu during emergency operations. The Gender & Protection Cluster comprises of representatives of National Ministries, UN Agencies, International and National NGO's, National Women's Organization, the International Federation of the Red Cross, the Vanuatu Red Cross Society, and other Organizations with a focus on protection. The  Department of Women's Affairs (DWA), of the Vanuatu Ministry of Justice and Community Services, is the designated Lead Agency of the Vanuatu Gender & Protection Cluster. Care International and Save the Children will act as co-leads and focal points for gender and child protection, respectively. A local NGO will also act as co-lead.

The Gender & Protection Cluster in Vanuatu aims to:

  • Develop knowledge and understanding of gender and protection issues in Vanuatu through advocacy, raising awareness, capacity building abd technical advice for relevant stakeholders.
  • Actively encourage other Clusters/Sectors of the humanitarian community to mainstream gender and protection into their planning and activities, and to provide technical support for this process.
  • Identify protection issues and gaps (in times of preparation for and response to emergencies) and advocate to relevant authorities and other actors for action to address them.
  • Play the lead role in the coordination of agencies involved ingender and protection activities to share information and respond to identified gaps.