New health facilities for Vanuatu’s Pentecost communities

A new health centre will be built at Melsisi and dispensaries will be constructed at Ledunvisi and Point Cross.

The project includes the refurbishment of Abwatunora Health Centre.

The Ministry of Health (MoH) and World Bank approved the project under Part 3 of VIRIP Finance Agreement, Public Building Reconstruction and Improvement.

The VIRIP which is worth Vt158 million was launched in response to Cyclone Pam which hit Vanuatu in 2015.

The cyclone caused extensive damage to infrastructure 

Building Vanuatu’s environmental data foundation

A strong foundation to this is the information and data from a wide range of sectors and stakeholders.

A National Stakeholders Inform Project workshop was held in Vanuatu recently to help build this foundation.

About 40 participants attended the event held by Vanuatu Department of Environmental Protection and Conservation, and the regional Inform project of the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP).

Vanuatu Tourism Office and tourism department review tourism legislation

The legislation are the Vanuatu Tourism Council Act No.23 of 2012 and the Vanuatu Tourism Act Cap 142.

These two pieces of legislation were enacted before the development of the National Sustainable Development Plan (NSDP) and the Vanuatu Sustainable Tourism Policy (VSTP).

The review is intended to strengthen the legislative framework to guide the implementation of this sector-wide policy that is linked to the 2030 People’s Plan.

ANZ extends fee waiver for money transfers to Pacific

Latest figures show the value and volume of transfers made by ANZ customers to the Pacific has increased substantially on the same period last year.

In February 2021 ANZ Australia and New Zealand customers sent a combined volume of 8,761 International Money Transfers worth AUD$12m (US$9.2 million) – a 95 percent increase in volume and 33 percent increase in value compared with the same period last year.

Money sent back to the Pacific from overseas, known as remittances, can make up a large part of a Pacific household's disposable income - up to 25 percent.

Solomons Government thanks Australia and Vanuatu for safe return of 5 men lost at sea

The men were rescued from Maewo in Vanuatu. 

According to the Solomon Star, the three governments worked closely and arranged for the men to fly to Honiara on a Royal Australian Air Force aircraft last Friday. 

Solomons Ministry Foreign Affairs and External Trade, Deputy Secretary Cornelius Walegerea thanked the Australian and Vanuatu governments for their support in facilitating the safe return of the five men. 

Farm Support Association partners with Vanuatu’s Tanna Coffee Bee

“We’ve delivered 8 sessions of queen rearing conducted on Tanna; 10 successful queens bred, 6 survived and were introduced to 5 new hives in Vila,” says  Peter Koah, the Associate Director of Farm Support Association. “Grafting of queen is very new to Farm Support Association and Tanna Coffee Bee, the success rate of the last 8 session was too low.”

“Going forward, we’ve identified areas to be improved with more exercises planned for the year.”

Peter Koah said wild harvest of queen colonies continue to take place on Tanna Island to boost honey production.

MSG Secretariat backs sports development programmes

MSG Acting Director General, George Hoa’au said sports should not only be considered as entertainment but as an approach for development.

“The secretariat needs to work more with its members to ensure that we organise creative sporting engagement between MSG members,” Hoa’au said.

MSG Sports Development officer Henry Bill clarified that the Secretariat does not necessarily sponsor tournaments but it facilitates them.

Solomon Islands fishermen return home from Vanuatu after three-week ordeal at sea

 The men travelled back to Honiara on an Australian air force aircraft from Port Vila Friday.

 Australia’s Minister for Women Marise Payne said, Solomon Islands, Australia and Vanuatu worked together to assist Solomon Islands fishermen who were lost at sea.

The fishermen left their island of Nifiloli to get local garden food from neighbouring Utopua Island on 25 January.

The trip usually takes 3 to 4 hours.

The men decided to stay back on Utopua as there was a cyclone warning.

Over 100 ni-Vanuatu workers depart for seasonal employment in Australia

Their flight yesterday was an important milestone, as it included over 100 workers who will travel to Victoria after completing quarantine in Tasmania.

The group is the first lot of seasonal workers to go to Victoria since international borders closed one year ago due to the global Covid-19 pandemic.

The workers were able to travel following a landmark deal between Tasmania and Victoria to ensure seasonal workers from the Pacific are able to travel to Victoria for labour mobility opportunities.

New nursery to benefit communities on Vanuatu's Pele Island

The Department of Agriculture and Rural Development provided Pele Farmers’ Association (PFA) with the nursery materials under the European Union Development Fund’s (EDF 11 funded) Fruit and Vegetable project.

Pele Island Farmer’s Association Chairperson, Jeffery Kenneth said the nursery is in the school boundary because the site is the centre of the island.