Vanuatu Daily News Digest | 21 April 2015

Today’s Daily Post carries news of the efforts of ACTIV and the regional organisation OKEANOS to bring 2.5 tons of local produce (with much more nutritional value than rice) to the Shepherds from the least affected northern islands. ACTIV points out "The equation is simple; when you buy local crops you support the local economy in one island while assisting another to recover. Rice and imported foods are much needed at times of immediate response, but we are now working on the mid-term recovery and rice and processed foodstuffs are not traditional foods in Vanuatu." A chief in Tongoa also advised how greatly the local food was needed and appreciated.

Good post-Pam news again: the Port Vila market is once again open. And there is a wide range of local produce on display with a variety of greens and some root crops. Not much fruit, however. But yes, there are bananas, and some pamplemousses.

Georgia has given a cash donation of USD 100,000 to the cyclone Pam recovery account, although somewhat more controversial will be the CIIP Master Agents donating to the cyclone Pam disaster relief fund of a like amount (USD 100,000) when this is surely a State Owned Venture anyway.

And the Reserve Bank is introducing a Natural Disaster Reconstruction Credit Facility to provide a low-cost back-to-back lending facility via domestic lending institutions such as commercial banks. Credit should be available at concessional rates for reconstruction. Await more news of this.

Bad hurricane news is an industry claimed loss to the coffee industry on Tanna. Many, many trees were felled and workshops damaged. 90% of productive trees were damaged smashed or broken, coffee industry leaders told Post.

Parliament will hold an extra-ordinary sitting May 29 – June 5 and June 8 begin its first ordinary sitting. Bills are listed in Post today.