The president of Transparency International Vanuatu says the country must take heed of the warning issued by Australia to crack down on corruption and improve governance.
Marie Noelle Ferrieux Patterson says the warning delivered by Australian diplomats visiting Port Vila last weekend is a welcome reminder that Vanuatu cannot afford to alienate itself from key donors.
Canberra has said that because democracy and accountability are weakening in Vanuatu, it's prepared to cut all but the humanitarian element from its 24 million US dollar aid package.
Ms Ferrieux Patterson says that a recent raft of undemocratic actions by the Vanuatu government has caused concern for donor countries.
And she says Vanuatu seems reluctant to commit to using the aid money exactly how donors like Australia want.
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When you speak of independence, people say Oh, okay, give us that money but we do what we want with it, and I think that other countries... it seems more and more that you just cannot give cash to governments, especially when the rules of good governance are not well-installed otherwise the money might be used for other purposes and not go to the grassroots as is needed.
Marie Noelle Ferrieux Patterson