COVID-19 restrictions amidst cyclones and volcanoes: A rapid assessment of early impacts on livelihoods and food security in coastal communities in Vanuatu
2020 Elsevier Ltd Coastal communities in regions like the Pacific have been impacted by COVID-19 related public health measures that limit the movement of people, trade and access to resources. In disaster-prone countries, like Vanuatu, such measures add to existing pressures on coastal communities' adaptive capacity. To understand how coastal communities in Vanuatu were impacted in the immediate period after COVID-19 measures were placed, and how people responded to the changing circumstances, a rapid appraisal survey was carried out following a nationally declared state of emergency in March 2020. Results reveal changes in village population, loss of cash income, difficulties in accessing food and shifting pressures on particular resources and habitats. The findings provide insights into the ways local adaptive capacity to satisfy livelihood and food security needs differed among rural contexts. From this we argue that broad quantitative impact assessments are important in guiding strategic and longer term responses and adaptations, but that these are made more useful when complemented with qualitative insights on people and place in the short-term.