20 Dec 2013

Australian aid to help economic development in Vanuatu

10:18 am on 20 December 2013

The Australian foreign minister, Julie Bishop, has unveiled two major projects to boost economic development in Vanuatu.

Ms Bishop, who is on a tour of the Pacific, says Australia is committing nearly 33 million US dollars to roading infrastructure around Vanuatu.

This will start with the tourist road to the volcano on Tanna, Mt Yasur, to ensure it is functioning properly and contributing fully to the island's economic development.

Ms Bishop says Australia will also put more money into the Technical Vocational Education Training Program, this time in Torba province, with an emphasis on training women for work in sectors such as tourism.

Women make up about a third of the paid employment, the formal labour market here in Vanuatu, but as they make up 50 percent of the population we need to ensure that they are given opportunities, that they are empowered to take part in the economy. It will be of great benefit to the people of Vanuatu if the women and the girls here have equal opportunities to succeed.