The aid aims to address the urgent needs of affected communities and aid displaced families in their safe return home. This contribution supplements ongoing disaster preparedness programs, with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) deploying experts to assess evacuee needs.
Mount Ulawun's eruptions since November 20 have claimed five lives, impacting over 24,000 people and displacing 16,000 to evacuation centres in East New Britain and West New Britain provinces.
The volcanic activity has caused ash plumes to reach 15,000 meters, damaging oil palm trees, water sources, gardens, and properties in the vicinity.
U.S. Embassy Chargé d’Affaires Katherine Monahan stated: "Leveraging our humanitarian expertise, the United States is pleased to answer the request of our partner, the Government of Papua New Guinea, and support its efforts in response to eruptions at Mount Ulawun.”
USAID has a history of investing in disaster risk reduction programs in Papua New Guinea and the Pacific since 2013. These initiatives, in collaboration with IOM, focus on community-based disaster management planning and safe shelter support.
Notably, USAID recently aided the response to the Mount Bagana eruption, providing $500,000 in relief items, with U.S. military assistance ensuring the efficient delivery of emergency relief in challenging terrains.