Vanuatu's Prime Minister Charlot Salwai has marked the country's anniversary with the first severance payments made to former state workers.
Vanuatu marks its 36th anniversary of independence over this weekend.
Mr Salwai said it has taken 36 years for the government to realise it should pay severance to its retired workers and the families of some of those who have passed away.
This morning he hand over cheques to some former civil servants and the wives and children of those who had died.
Mr Salwai said the government must take the lead in paying severance and that other private employers will follow.
Our correspondent says the government has paid out just under US$22 million dollars in severance for former teachers, police and public servants.