Minister of Infrastructure and Public Utilities, Jay Ngwele, and Australia’s High Commissioner to Vanuatu, Sarah deZoeten, have signed an exchange of letters formalising Australia’s additional assistance of over 117 million vatu to support the Ministry’s response to the dual challenges of COVID-19 and Tropical Cyclone Harold.
The assistance will support efforts to rebuild and repair critical roads affected by Tropical Cyclone Harold, improving accessibility and providing employment opportunities for ni-Vanuatu. It will be implemented through the Australian-funded Roads for Development Program Phase 2 (R4D2) in partnership with the Public Works Department.
At the signing ceremony, Minister Ngwele thanked Australia for its long-term commitment to building quality, durable and resilient infrastructure in Vanuatu.
“The Australian Government has been very supportive for the last 40 years and we are very thankful and with the current challenges of Covid-19 and TC Harold that these funds will assist the recovery process of the affected islands,” he said.
“The Roads for Development Program is a great example of our longstanding partnership to support well-planned and resilient roads, using Vanuatu government systems to respond to Vanuatu’s priorities. It will contribute to resilient infrastructure in Vanuatu that also strengthens the skills and livelihoods of ni-Vanuatu workers,” said High Commissioner deZoeten.