16 Apr 2015

NZ increases Vanuatu shipping services grant

4:15 pm on 16 April 2015

New Zealand has increased its grant to improve Vanuatu's inter-island shipping services by 4.5 million US dollars, taking total funding to 17.5 million US dollars.

The New Zealand High Commissioner Georgina Roberts says the additional funding is based on revised estimates of the cost of the work required at seven wharves across Vanuatu.

She says all the wharves have been designed to have a 50-year operational life and are an important infrastructure investment for Vanuatu.

Ms Roberts says the shipping industry plays an important role in economic development of the country, and provides the main transportation service for the local population.

The Prime Minister Joe Natuman has welcomed the assistance, saying it will help Vanuatu rebuild its economy after the damage of cyclone Pam.

The inter-islands shipping industry is a joint project of the government of New Zealand, the Vanuatu government and the Asian Development Bank.