9 Jan 2006

American agency announces compact with Vanuatu

11:22 am on 9 January 2006

A report from Washington says the United States government has approved a five-year US$65.7 million compact with Vanuatu.

The agreement is expected to bring major resources into Vanuatu for the development of roads, wharfs, an airstrip and other infrastructure aimed at future economic development.

The programme, operated by the Millennium Challenge Corporation, set up two years ago by U.S. President George Bush to help poor countries, hopes to increase average income per capita by 15 percent within five years.

The corporation estimates that approximately half of Vanuatu's citizens live in poverty.

According to a news release from the agency's board the compact with Vanuatu

should be signed next month.