We're supporting Vanuatu to reach its economic potential by growing the valuable tourism and agriculture sectors 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..

Increase economic benefits from tourism

Increase economic and food security benefits from agriculture

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



We are working to increase literacy and numeracy by improving attendance, teaching methods, leadership and management, and the use of assessment information. We’re also providing scholarships and vocational training to support economic opportunities and help address skills shortages. New Zealand has also been improving school facilities, and the quality, accessibility and management of education through the Vanuatu Education Support Programme (VESP). This has been a partnership between MFAT, the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and the Vanuatu Government.


Increase economic benefits from tourism



We are working to grow demand for tourism in Vanuatu through improving infrastructure, enhancing the quality of products and services, and investing in destination marketing and product development. We’ve also been increasing local value from tourism by strengthening skills and capability and linking local businesses and communities with tourism markets. 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 and labour mobility


We are improving trade facilitation and market access with implementation assistance for Pacific Agreement on Closer Economic Relations (PACER) Plus, and helping improve biosecurity and customs systems.

We are working to improve island connectivity by upgrading the wharves and inter-island shipping services.

We’ve also been working to improve the development benefits for Ni-Vanuatu from the New Zealand labour mobility scheme of which Vanuatu is New Zealand's largest source of seasonal labour from the Pacific region.


Increase economic and food security benefits from agriculture


We are working to help agriculture become a driver of economic growth in Vanuatu and supporting farmer’s transition from subsistence agriculture to commercialised, market-led agricultural production. We’re working to strengthen agricultural value-chains, improve market access through biosecurity and food safety systems, build resilience, and tackle food security and nutritional challenges. 

Find out more about New Zealand Aid Programme activities in Vanuatu

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]