5 Apr 2006

Foreign aid to Vanuatu a waste - report

2:11 pm on 5 April 2006

An Australian think tank says overseas aid to Vanuatu over the past 26 years has brought no benefit to the country.

The Centre for Independent Studies says since independence Vanuatu has received nearly 1.5 billion US dollars in overseas aid and the money has been wasted.

Researcher Gaurav Sodhi says there has been little improvement in living standards and aid donors should ask why.

He says some of the money has gone to support the elite in Port Vila.

"And also to support an outrageously huge state. I mean we are talking about 200 thousand people living in Vanuatu and to support that population, the country is a member of 30 international organisations, it has 13 cabinet ministers, each with their own salary and car and staff. They are grossly over-governed and the aid money is going to support these structures."