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European Commissioner brings additional support to Vanuatu

Press Release – Delegation of the European Commission to NZ

European Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica, visited Vanuatu today in a joint mission with New Zealand Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Hon. Murray McCully, and Minister of Climate Change Issues, Hon. Paula …European Commissioner brings additional support to Vanuatu

European Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica, visited Vanuatu today in a joint mission with New Zealand Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Hon. Murray McCully, and Minister of Climate Change Issues, Hon. Paula Bennett.

During their visit, the European Commissioner spoke with Prime Minister Hon. Charlot Salwai, addressed the Council of Ministers, and visited agriculture projects in Espiritu Santo, Vanuatu’s largest island. He expressed his appreciation for the resilience and courage of the Ni-Vanuatu people in the aftermath of Tropical Cyclone Pam, which devastated the country in March 2015.

“I can only admire the resilience of the Ni-Vanuatu people following Cyclone Pam. I am delighted to confirm that the EU is behind Vanuatu’s efforts to build back better. It is not only about providing additional financial support, but also demonstrating that we remain a strong and stable partner in the fight against climate-related disasters” said Commissioner Mimica.

The European Commissioner announced a payment of EUR 10.5 million (VUV 1.3 billion/NZ$17.3 million) under EU’s budget support programme. This single payment represents about 7% of the country’s 2016 national budget and will help sustain vital recovery efforts as well as development expenditure of the Government.

The European Commissioner also announced additional support of EUR 10 million (VUV 1.2 billion/NZ$16.5 million) to agriculture, a 40% increase to existing resources to a total of EUR 35 million (VUV 4.3 billionNZ$57.7 million). This sector, which was particularly hard hit by Cyclone Pam, will now benefit from coordinated support by EU and New Zealand. This was formalised by a tripartite Declaration, which is set to make Vanuatu the first beneficiary of an expanded EU/NZ partnership covering agriculture and climate change adaptation in addition to energy.

In order to get some practical insight into the country’s needs and opportunities in the sector, the high-level delegation accompanied by Minister for Agriculture Hon. Matai Seremaiah also visited the Vanuatu Agricultural and Technical Centre. They witnessed important research on climate change adaptation in agriculture, supported by the EU and New Zealand. Finally, the Delegation also visited Nanda Blue Hole and met with local producers and entrepreneurs, highlighting the potential links between agriculture and tourism.

ENDS

Content Sourced from scoop.co.nz
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