Richard Butler | Exclusive Report by Sabrina Tabi of Daily Post VU | FEB 23rd, 2023

A total of VT1.5 billion economic package will be given to Vanuatu by the Australian Government to assist the country in recovering from the COVID-19, and the recent disasters that have strike the country.

Prime Minister Ishmael Kalsakau relayed this information through a statement after his return from Australia late last week, in relation to matters discussed during his visit to Australia.

From the economic package mentioned above, it was stated that VT381.7 million will be given to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs towards funding the PACER Plus coordination, and activities the Ministries of Trade and Agriculture will identify to strengthen the Trade and Supply chain.

A further VT877.91 million was bilaterally negotiated and will be given “towards potential support to aviation sector, and further support for strengthening Vanuatu’s cybersecurity infrastructure and labour mobility”.

According to the statement, a total of VT267.19 million from the general budget support in collaboration with development partners, will be given to the “Reform areas in Financial Sector, State Owned Enterprises (SOEs), and Public Finance Management reform (PFM)”.

In addition, a Local Economic Stimulus package of VT181.7 million will be given towards the construction of roads in rural areas.

In terms of kava export, a consideration will be given for the export to be removed from pilot stage to open market.

The PM stated that Australia is ready to help Vanuatu, but citizens must work hard as well to ensure that all these things are achieved.