18 Mar 2020

Banks in French Pacific to get financial lift

4:46 pm on 18 March 2020

The institute issuing the French Pacific franc is to release $US125 million to ensure banks have liquidity in the face of the coronavirus outbreak.

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Photo: 123RF

The IEOM, which provides the currency for New Caledonia, French Polynesia and Wallis and Futuna, says this is being prepared for next week.

French Polynesia's economy dependent is on tourism and is being hit hard by travel restrictions, as is New Caledonia's.

Air Tahiti, which is the domestic carrier, is urging its customers to fly to and from the outer islands only if absolutely necessary.

The international carrier Air Tahiti Nui has maintained a reduced schedule while New Caledonia's Aircalin is about to suspend just about all flights.

French Polynesia and New Caledonia however plan to maintain basic air links to Paris.

New Caledonia as well as Wallis and Futuna are the only French territories without any confirmed coronavirus cases.

In French Polynesia, three people have the virus which was first detected in a local politician returning from Paris.

A Swiss tourist fell ill from the virus on the atoll of Fakarava and was flown to Tahiti.