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New Zealand addressing poverty in Vanuatu

Rt Hon Winston Peters
Minister of Foreign Affairs


6 June 2006
Media statement

New Zealand addressing poverty in Vanuatu


New Zealand will continue to play its part in assisting Vanuatu towards a secure and prosperous future, Foreign Minister Winston Peters said in the capital of Port Vila today, at the start of a three-day visit.

“Development assistance is a very important component of New Zealand’s relationship with Vanuatu. Over the coming days I look forward to seeing the impact of our aid programme,” Mr Peters said.

“New Zealand is significantly scaling up its development efforts in the Pacific, and the Vanuatu programme is a major focus for additional funding.

"New Zealand's current bilateral aid programme with Vanuatu is worth $11.5million per year, and we have budgeted to spend $85 million over the next five years, taking bilateral and regional contributions into account.

“Vanuatu faces some serious challenges. Migration to the cities has brought associated problems of crime, squatter settlements and unemployment, while poverty levels are also on the increase.

“Well-managed and well-targeted aid can help the government of Vanuatu find long-term solutions to these problems and our work, through the government's international development agency NZAID, is delivering on this.

“For example, NZAID is supporting a ‘book flood’ programme to provide primary schools with a large supply of locally-written school journals. The pilot programme found that this approach increased literacy rates by 10 per cent.

“I hope more results like this can be achieved and I look forward to talking with my Vanuatu counterparts on these issues,” said Mr Peters.

ENDS

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