We're supporting Vanuatu to reach its economic potential by growing the valuable tourism sector and improving marine transport. We are also helping to improve the quality of education, providing communities with better access to potable water and sanitation services, and assisting youth into decent jobs through vocational training opportunities.

Total aid to Vanuatu is made up of programme funding for activities specific to Vanuatu, as well as other funding which can include scholarships, regional initiatives, activities supported through the Partnerships Fund, and humanitarian response. 

 Graphic showing total aid for Vanuatu 2016-17

Shared vision

New Zealand and Vanuatu have signed a Joint Commitment for Development. This sets out the shared vision of our two governments, the priority areas we're focused on, each countries' responsibilities, and the funding New Zealand will provide.

Read the Joint Commitment for Development [PDF, 129 KB]

What we're supporting

We're working closely with the Vanuatu Government and local agencies on several aid activities.

Priority Activities and outcomes

Improve knowledge, skills and basic education


Improving school facilities, and the quality, accessibility and management of education through the Vanuatu Education Support Programme (VESP). This is a partnership between MFAT, the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Vanuatu Government. 

Increase economic benefits from tourism

Improving the tourist experience by enhancing the quality of products and services available; upgrading the Port Vila waterfront park, and assisting the Department of Tourism with planning future expansion. Tourism is very important to the Vanuatu economy and New Zealand is a major donor in this sector. 

Trade and labour mobility
Increase economic benefits from trade a more mobile workflow

Improving connectivity for Vanuatu’s largely rural and remote population by upgrading the wharves and inter-island shipping services. Improvements to maritime regulation and nautical charts will also secure Vanuatu’s long-term future as a cruise-ship destination.

Providing seasonal job opportunites in New Zealand - Vanuatu is New Zealand's largest source of seasonal labour from the Pacific region.

Find out more about New Zealand Aid Programme activities in Vanuatu [PDF, 294 KB]

Recent achievements

Priority  Achievement

Law and justice
Strengthen law and justice systems

Reduced pressure on Port Vila prisons through improved probation and parole services. Prison escapes have dramatically reduced - from 70 in 2008 to just eight between 2012 and 2014, building confidence in the prison system. This has been an ongoing programme of support since 2003.

Provided five district court judges since 2003 who have helped improve the efficiency of the court system - increasing the clearance rate for cases to 84%, a significant improvement on recent years..  

Increase economic benefits from tourism 

Designed a $20 million tourism infrastructure programme that will upgrade the waterfront and wharf in Port Vila so it can become an attractive destination for locals and tourists.

Implemented a Tourism Ambassador Programme attended by more than 300 tourism operators. This addressed service standards issues through workshops and training sessions and encouraged improved business management and visitor experience.

Expand access to affordable, reliable and clean energy 

Provided specialist technical assistance to the Department of Energy for Vanuatu’s first geothermal electricity generation plant now in development. 

Respond to humanitarian emergencies

Provided emergency assistance following Cyclone Pam in March 2015. New Zealand contributed NZ$2.5 million to the immediate response - including relief supplies, technical assistance and medication personnel. Since then we have contributed a further $2.2 million as part of ongoing recovery support. 

Evaluation and research reports

Some of the following reports are about the Pacific region as a whole, but feature case studies from Vanuatu.

Mama Graon - Vanuatu Land Programme, Mid Term Review [PDF, 1.4 MB]

Independent Review of the Pacific Ombudsman Alliance (POA)
[PDF, 722 KB]

Evaluation of the New Zealand Medical Treatment Scheme [PDF, 938 KB]