European Union and New Zealand give Vt2.5B assistance for agriculture and cyclone recoveryPosted: June 3, 2016
Prime Minister Charlot Salwai appreciated the opportunity for Vanuatu, as an agriculture-based economy, to be able to dialogue with both the European Union and New Zealand at the same time on development issues when meeting the eminent visiting foreign delegation yesterday. “With a fast increasing population growth,” PM Salwai said, “the agriculture sector offers the best opportunities for inclusive, broad-based economic growth.” He listed priority areas of the country’s Agriculture Policy. At the end of discussions between the visitors and Vanuatu Government officials, the PM said, “a Declaration of Co-operation in Sustainable Agriculture will affirm that achieving sustainable outcomes in the agriculture sector is central to improving economic prosperity and contributing to sustainable livelihoods in Vanuatu.” (Daily Post)
Vanuatu will be the first of the island countries to benefit from budget support given by the European Union and New Zealand to developing island countries as a result of the devastation caused by Cyclone Pam the ministerial level visitors of the joint EU/NZ mission said yesterday. Under the EU assistance a sum of about Vt 1.3 billion will help sustain post-Pam recovery efforts. And the European Commissioner for Development Neven Mimica also announced 1.2 billion vatu additional support towards agriculture projects. Commissioner Mimica expressed his admiration for the resilience of Ni-Vanuatu following Cyclone Pam. In making the additional support he said “I am delighted to confirm that the EU is behind Vanuatu’s efforts to build back better. It is not only about providing additional financial support, but also demonstrating that we remain a strong and stable partner in the fight against climate-related disasters.” (Daily Post)
The visiting delegation was also concerned with tourism and took time to see the Nanda Blue Hole and met with local producers and entrepreneurs. They are continuing their regional visit now in Kiribati and Tuvalu.
The New Zealand Foreign Minister in the joint delegation, Murray McCully, told Daily Post in a press conference that his government had discussed the continuing absence of Air New Zealand flights with the airline. A response is expected from Air New Zealand “very soon”, he said. Meanwhile, however, he pointed out New Zealanders still continue to visit Vanuatu. The Vanuatu Daily Digest believes the biggest problem for Air New Zealand is a plane scheduling one, relative to the Bauerfield works which have two phases. Only the first has been completed.