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New financing for Vanuatu Interisland Shipping Support Project

Staff writer |
The Asian Development Bank (ADB), with the Governments of New Zealand and Vanuatu, have provided additional financing of $18.48 million (Vt1.5b), $4.65 million (Vt390m), and $1.607 million (Vt134m) respectively to the Vanuatu Interisland Shipping Support Project.

The project is upgrading domestic port facilities, expanding regular and reliable shipping services to the provinces, and improving maritime safety regulation and compliance.

The additional financing will fund the reconstruction of Simonsen Wharf in Luganville, the proposed dredging of a channel in South Paray Bay to access the new Port Vila domestic wharf, and consultancy services for a coastal process study and assessment of environmental impacts from the proposed dredged channel.

A subsidized shipping scheme is assisting private sector operators to deliver shipping services to remote destinations that would be commercially unviable unless part of a route.

Assistance is also being given to establish a functioning Maritime Regulatory Authority, with support for developing appropriate legislation and policies focused on meeting international maritime safety obligations, Vanuatu Daily Post reports.

The main beneficiaries of the project are people living in remote areas of Vanuatu who will gain greater access to basic social services, while increased agriculture production and better terms of trade for rural areas, are other direct benefits.

The project is being carried out over 6 years, and with the additional financing, the revised cost is expected to be about $51.62 million, shared between ADB ($29.30 million), the Government of New Zealand ($17.25 million), and the Government of Vanuatu ($5.07 million).

ADB, based in Manila, is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration. Established in 1966, it is owned by 67 members – 48 from the region.

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