The Pacific bubble takes shape

May 15, 2020

There is no doubting the importance of tourism and labour mobility to the Pacific. With few and falling COVID-19 cases, no wonder the idea of including the Pacific in the proposed Australia-New Zealand travel ‘bubble’ has gained prominence. In this blog we take stock of how the bubble is forming. Australia and New Zealand have made it clear that they are open to the idea, but only after they have formed their own trans-Tasman COVID-sa ...

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May 14, 2020

It is now five weeks after Tropical Cyclone Harold battered islands in the provinces of SANMA, PENAMA and MALAMPA, yet recent reports by officers from ActionAid confirmed some families in South and West Malo are still living in caves. In the aftermaths of TC Harold, ActionAid under the Women-led Climate Resilience and Adaptation project in Vanuatu deployed its own officers at Malo to conduct emergency response assessments concerning the v ...

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Staff Layoffs Looming

May 13, 2020

On April 1, caretaker Prime Minister at the time, Charlot Salwai announced a VT4 Billion Stimulus Package to support the country’s economy. In his statement the caretaker PM stated that the stimulus package was designed to boost economic growth through a combination of mixed fiscal and monetary actions. The objective of the package was to keep people safe, keep them employed, and keep businesses open. Part of the package involved an emp ...

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PM confirms over 200 Ni-Vanuatu stranded overseas

May 11, 2020

Prime Minister (PM), Bob Loughman, has confirmed that over 200 Ni-Vanuatu citizens are currently stranded overseas because of COVID-19 restrictions. Unless the necessary equipment and facilities are available locally, the government cannot repatriate them yet, he said. PM Loughman stated this when receiving COVID-19 related equipment recently from the Chinese Embassy in Port Vila. These equipment were flown in from China. The Minist ...

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International Border Restrictions Remain As SOE Extended

May 09, 2020

In its meeting this week to endorse the extension of the State of Emergency (SOE), the Council of Ministers (COM), agreed on other areas that needed to be addressed to facilitate services during the SOE. COM firstly approved for the State Law Office to prepare regulation order for the Minister responsible for the National Disaster Management, Bruno Leingkon, to allow international cargo to be brought into the country as well as allow dome ...

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New Fees for Civil Registry Documents

May 08, 2020

The Deputy Prime Minister (DPM) and Minister of Internal Affairs, Ishmael Kalsakau, has confirmed that the birth certificate fee at the Civil Status Office is now only Vt100 and no longer Vt1,800. It’s one of the first activities that he undertook after taking up office. DPM Kalsakau said passport fees will also be reviewed. advertisement The government must not charge the fees just for the sake of making money, he said. Mr Ka ...

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Hardship loans to continue for cyclone-affected members

April 30, 2020

The Vanuatu National Provident Fund (VNPF) has announced it will offer hardship loans to members affected by cyclone Harold to rebuild homes and livelihoods starting on Monday next week. The similar interest-free loan which was introduced for members impacted by COVID-19 will close this Friday. The total payout to members was Vt1.5 billion. VNPF Board initially approved Vt1 billion for the loan applications but a further Vt500million w ...

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Local Shipping Agent for Filipino Amazon vessel fined Vt500,000

April 30, 2020

The local shipping agent for the Filipino Cargo Vessel Amazon has been fined Vt500,000 for breaching COVID-19 social measures. Director of the Department of Public Health and Media Focal Person for COVID-19, Len Tarivonda, said this fine issued under relevant laws relating to the current State of Emergency (SOE), is a warning to other foreign vessels and everyone else to respect COVID-19 measures in place. Meanwhile, it is unlikely tha ...

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Main referral hospitals must be equipped for COVID-19: Acting DG

April 20, 2020

The Vila Central Hospital (VCH) and the Northern Provincial Hospital (NPH) in Santo as the country’s main referral hospitals must be fully equipped with necessary equipment to handle COVID-19 cases if there is any detection. This statement was made by the Acting Director General (DG) of the Ministry of Health (MoH), Johnson Wabaiat, following the recent arrival of COVID-19 related medical supplies such as ventilators, testing kits and m ...

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April 16, 2020

Three ICU ventilators are part of the much-needed medical equipment donated by the Chinese Government to help with Vanuatu’s preparedness to deal with the COVID -19 pandemic. The items were delivered on a charter flight from China under strict observation of Vanuatu’s COVID-19 prevention measures last weekend. The National Disaster Management Office (NDMO) has confirmed the items include: 300 Disposable protective clothing for medi ...

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