Vanuatu’s Government, private sector dialogue sets pathway to more support for businesses

Government ministries and the Vanuatu Chamber of Commerce and Industry are working together to develop the support measures.

The measures will build on the Economic Stabilization Payment (ESP), the Small and Medium Enterprises grant (SME), school fee subsidy, commodities subsidy and shipping subsidy, which were implemented in 2020.

So far over VT 1.5 billion worth of payment support has been provided.

Once the recommendations have been finalized and endorsed by the Council of Ministers, support measures will be rolled out.

Some of the measures are:

Vanuatu’s COM approves Tanna Road phase III project

The decision will allow the Ministry of Infrastructure and Public Utilities and the Ministry of Finance and Economic Management to engage in the normal tender process.

COM endorsed that supervisory, engineering and managerial roles are to be performed by the government through MIPU or any sub-contracted company.

Minister of Finance, Johnny Koanapo said communities will be engaged in these projects and the procurement process would be shorter.

Vanuatu postpones New Caledonia Tamtam travel bubble awareness

Prime Minister Bob Loughman announced the postponement after two new border quarantine cases were reported in the country.

New Caledonia has reported Covid-19 community transmission cases.

The awareness outreach was to have begin today.

Vanuatu chiefs stand firmly against TamTam bubble proposal

Last month the government announced it would look to reopen the borders between the main island of Efate and New Caledonia in the hope it would boost business in the capital Port Vila and aid necessary travel for those studying in both countries.

However the local Council of Chiefs said borders were still closed to people from New Caledonia and other countries.

The Council Chairman, Chief Simon Poilapa, said a resolution around Efate and its offshore islands which was made in 2020, would stand.

Japan to give $41 million aid to Asian and Pacific nations over vaccine supply

The Foreign Ministry said Tuesday the grant aid will be used to secure cold-storage facilities, transport vehicles and other equipment necessary for the stable delivery of vaccines in those countries, including Indonesia, the Philippines and Thailand, according to the ministry.

Japan aims to help ensure the delivery of vaccines "to each and every person in the all corners of developing countries" with the hope of containing the coronavirus pandemic as quickly as possible, it said, adding the aid will be delivered through the United Nations Children's Fund.

Get Safe Online Pacific Launches Bislama Website

The first local language website to be launched is in Bislama for Vanuatu

Vanuatu’s USP Emalus Campus enrolment up by 91%

This is an increase of 91 percent compared to the same period in 2020.

The number includes students studying in other four USP centres in the Provinces (Torba, Sanma, Malampa and Tafea).

Emalus Campus Acting Director, Ruben Bakeo Markward announced the increase in his address during the Student Orientation Day.

“On behalf of the USP and especially Emalus Campus I say welcome and congratulations to our new students on your acceptance to study at USP. We thank you for choosing USP. We are excited to welcome you into the Emalus learning community in 2021.”

Call for Vanuatu disaster officials to resign in aftermath of tsunami warning

Napat said the Director General of the Ministry of Climate Change and the Director of the National Disaster Management Office should quit because of their incompetency.

He said the impacts of last week's tsunami warning could have been worse as the issuing of an advisory message was released an hour late.

He said it was the third time the disaster authorities have issued late advisory messages on tsunami and Napat believed it was putting people lives in danger.

Vanuatu has 2 new Covid-19 cases in quarantine

Prime Minister Bob Loughman confirmed the cases in a press conference broadcast live on VBTC this evening.

A 46-year-old woman and a 50-year-old man arrived in the country on 27 February and were placed in mandatory quarantine.

Loughman said the two people tested positive for Covid-19 on the fifth day of the routine test.

He added that they have been moved to the isolation ward at Vila Central Hospital.

Loughman assured the public that all protocol measures are in place to ensure the cases are contained.

TC warning, red alert for Vanuatu’s TAFEA province

At 3pm (local time) category 4 TC Niran was located about 600km south southwest of Efate and 500km southwest of Tanna.

VMDG has advised that Red Alert is still inforce for TAFEA Province while All Clear is now given for SHEFA Province.

Severe TC Niran has been moving in an east southeasterly direction at 81km/hr (44Knots) in the past 3 hours.

According to VMDG, maximum sustained winds close to the centre are estimated at 185km/hr (100Knots).