New Zealand Aid Programme activities
New Zealand’s bilateral development programme support for Vanuatu for 2010/11 amounts to NZ$19 million. Vanuatu also participates in New Zealand regional programmes estimated to bring an extra $5 million worth of development support.
The New Zealand Aid Programme activities in Vanuatu are based on the overall aid programme mandate and the specific development challenges in Vanuatu. The programme focuses on economic development, education, and governance.
Economic development is a key focus of New Zealand’s country strategy in Vanuatu. Both the New Zealand and Vanuatu governments agree that the private sector plays an important role in leading the economic development of the country. New Zealand is increasing support in this area, particularly to improve rural livelihoods. New Zealand is committed to improving donor coordination in the productive sector, which is one of the most difficult areas to harmonise due to the number of organisations involved. The New Zealand Aid Programme currently supports:
- Farm Support Association for agricultural skills training
- Department of Forestry for tree nurseries and forestry training
- Vanuatu Rural Development Training Centres Association for vocational training of rural youth
- Ministry of Internal Affairs through Immigration Department for the upgrade of the passport system to meet new international standards and to ensure continued access to the RSE scheme
- Roading infrastructure to expand access to markets
- mprovements to inter-island shipping services through better wharves, and safety and market regulations (pending)
- Department of Lands for improved security of tenure and more rapid resolution of land disputes.
Improving access to, and the quality of, basic education is a priority to help Vanuatu achieve its goal of a quality education for all. The New Zealand Aid Programme, AusAID and UNICEF are helping build the ability of the Ministry of Education to better deliver education services. They work together to support a single national education plan. Priorities include:
- provision of school grants for children in years one to six to replace fees paid by parents and encourage more children to attend school
- building classrooms and water tanks
- providing reading books and stationery to primary schools
- supporting development of a national curriculum and curriculum standards.
To assist Vanuatu in meeting its human resource needs, the New Zealand Aid Programme funds scholarships for study at New Zealand and Pacific tertiary institutions. The scholarships programme is supplemented by a Short-Term Award Scheme to cater for professional training or attachment to a New Zealand organisation to gain hands-on experience.
The New Zealand Government recognises that effective governance is essential for reducing poverty and creating sustainable development. It also recognises the need for increased participation by civil society in policy formulation and decision-making. The New Zealand Aid Programme supports community provision of social development by funding:
- Wan Smol Bag, a local non-governmental organisation that works with chiefs, rural communities, youth, women's organisations, teachers and the police to raise awareness of the workings of government and people's rights.
- Vanuatu Women’s Centre, which plays an effective role in addressing domestic violence against women and families in Vanuatu.
- Vanuatu Association of Non-Government Organisations (VANGO), the national focal point for civil society organisations in Vanuatu.
- Department of Local Authorities, the focal point for decentralisation
Enhancing law and justice
New Zealand has a well established and long-term commitment to help the Vanuatu Government improve law and order through the new Vanuatu Corrections Service.
The Department of Corrections is responsible for the prison operations and establishing a new probation service. Five New Zealand Aid Programme-funded in-country advisers from the New Zealand Department of Corrections work alongside staff as part of an institutional strengthening programme.
The Judiciary is also supported through the placement of a New Zealand judge who sits on the Vanuatu Supreme Court.