Vanuatu

Surprising early results in Vanuatu election

Unofficial results for the smaller constituencies were the first to come in last night, and suggest there will be plenty of new faces in parliament.

Jamie Tahana reports from Port Vila.

Polls closed at 4:30pm local time yesterday, and counting began around the country soon after.

The snap election was called after the President dissolved parliament last month following the conviction of 15 MPs for corruption.

The first unofficial results that began to trickle in late last night suggest there will be a large turnover.

Rains bring respite to drought hit Vanuatu

However the operations manager of the National Disaster Management Office says despite receiving positive reports from some of the areas most affected by months of drought his office remains vigilant and will be monitoring the situation as the rains cease.

Peter Korisa says he feels that some communities will have benefited more than others from the short period of heavy rain.

Drought plagues Vanuatu people

The El Nino drought has become a regional challenge with negative effects on subsistence livelihood, says Antoine Ravo, a senior agriculture officer with the Vanuatu Department of Agriculture. 

Ravo said agricultural food production has declined in villages as people cannot tend to their gardens due to lack of rainfall in the last several months. 

Digicel celebrates family this Christmas

Digicel is once again bringing families and the Pacific’s greatest musical talent together with an upbeat new version of their hit song ‘We Are Family’. This new rendition is a cheerful Pacific Christmas music collaboration, available to all Digicel customers across the company’s six Pacific countries. 

Experts predict continuing dry for much of the Pacific

This comes after up to six months of well below normal rainfall had been received.

The forecast from New Zealand's NIWA and the Pacific Islands Meteorological Services says in Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu, after three months of very dry conditions, below normal rainfall can be expected through to the end of the year.

Commonwealth Secretariat deputy Secretary General visits MSG Secretariat

His visit was to discuss with the Vanuatu Government in preparations for the next CHOGM meeting scheduled for 2017.

Deodat Maharaj and his Economic Advisor, Harshen Nyambe met the Director General of the MSG Secretariat, Peter Forau and the Deputy Director General, Molean Kilepak and Secretariat Staff on Thursday 17 September 2015.

Maharaj said his visit to Vanuatu and to the MSG Secretariat is part of his visit to Small Island States in the Pacific who are also members of the Commonwealth group of nations.

BSP remain committed to acquire Westpac bank in Solomon Islands

Bank of South Pacific (BSP) is working closely with the Central Bank of Solomon Islands (CBSI) to obtain the necessary approvals and discussions with the CBSI have been positive and have well-progressed.

This was revealed in a statement by BSP Group chairman Kostas Constantinou.

He says BSP is confident for a positive conclusion of the new application that is before the CBSI to allow the transaction to proceed shortly thereafter.

Cyclone recovery in the Pacific

One senior business executive was at Auckland Airport on his way to the World Conference – preparing to advocate the merits of disaster resilience to his fellow executives – when news of the disaster prompted him to ditch his talking points, switch his ticket, and dash to guide his company’s recovery on the ground in Vanuatu.

Within 48 hours, instead of speaking to delegates in Sendai, the Chairman of the Board of Directors Digicel Samoa, Pepe Christian Fruean, was in Vanuatu’s capital Port Vila as part of the telecommunications company’s emergency deployment.

World Bank commits 3 million to Tuvalu recovery

Six months after Cyclone Pam hit the Pacific, the bank approved the additional grant to support Tuvalu's medium-term recovery efforts.

Almost half of Tuvalu's 10,000 people were affected by the category 5 cyclone, which caused massive destruction as it passed in March, before continuing southwest to Vanuatu.

The system caused an estimated 10 million dollars worth of damages or more than 30 percent of the country's GDP.

ADB pushes open skies

He made the comment during a recent visit to Fiji and cited key priorities Pacific Opportunities: Leveraging Asia's Growth that would strengthen Pacific Island countries' links with Asian countries.

On shipping, Takehiko said, initial experience in Vanuatu and Solomon Islands suggested that subsidising the private sector on a competitive basis to undertake shipping routes to remote communities could be a better approach than through inefficient state-owned enterprises.