Vanuatu daily news digest | 8 December 2014

Radio Vanuatu began the news today with the Ministry of Health declaring still more nurses are much needed. The acting DG Viran Tovu spoke at the graduation of nurses last week. "There will be a big space from next year because many nurses are retiring, and the increasing population means the need for treatment is growing," Tovu said. "Nurses are the backbone of the service." However the Australian Government is to help the Vanuatu College of Nursing Education with additional funds next year. Deputy High Commissioner Tanya Parkin said that in January Australia will give funds to train rural based nurses in maternal health.

The big news out of Vanuatu today is not about Vanuatu but of the West Papuans uniting in a new umbrella group – the United Liberation Movement for West Papua or ULMWP. It has brought together the groups called the Federal Republic of West Papua (NRFPB), National Coalition for Liberation (WPNCL) and the National Parliament of West Papua (NPWP). Five elected members from the various groups will now coordinate the ULMWP activities. Octovianus Mote is General Secretary, and Benny Wenda the spokesperson. Rex Rumakiek (well known to Vanuatu leaders), Leone Tangahma and Jacob Rumbiak are members Daily Post advises us today. It also carries the text of what they signed. A big signing and reconciliation ceremony took place on Saturday at the Chiefs Nakamal in the presence of Vanuatu’s PM, DPM and other ministers. Church and chiefly leaders from Vanuatu were also present.

Daily Post today again highlights the upgrading of Bauerfield as a priority of the Natuman Government. The PM announced the formation of a new committee to see to the upgrade work, and his DG Johnson Naviti will oversee this. The World Bank is interested to work with the government.