New Zealand support for Vanuatu’s economic response to COVID

Vanuatu Minister of Finance and Economic Management, Johnny Koanapo and NZ High Commissioner Jonathan Schwass.

New Zealand will provide 220 million vatu ($NZ 3 million) to support the Vanuatu Government’s COVID-19 stimulus package and help the people of Vanuatu weather the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Vanuatu has done an excellent job of protecting its people and keeping the country free of COVID-19 to date, but nonetheless the pandemic will have a major impact on Vanuatu’s economy,” NZ High Commissioner Jonathan Schwass says.

“The loss of the international tourism market, border restrictions and the global financial headwinds we all face will have major effects across the Pacific, including for New Zealand and Vanuatu.

“Vanuatu has responded by developing a stimulus package that is focused on keeping people in employment, providing grants to small and medium businesses, supplementing fees for university students, subsidising commodity producers and supporting shipping services. New Zealand has agreed to help fund this very positive initiative.

“We are committed to helping our Pacific neighbours respond to the health and economic impacts of COVID-19 and ensuring that the region emerges in the best possible shape once the pandemic passes.”

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