Today, Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development Neven Mimica and Prime Minister of Vanuatu Charlot Salwai Tabimasmas launched a new programme to strengthen sustainable value chains in the country.
The Vanuatu Value Chain (VaVaC) Programme aims to promote a strong climate-resilient rural economy that will contribute to national growth and recovery from the aftermath of tropical cyclone Pam. It provides financing of EUR 25 million to strengthen value chains that are most strategic for the country's economy: coconut, beef as well as fruits and vegetables. These areas were selected together with the Government of Vanuatu based on their potential for farm income and employment, provincial development impact, linkages with manufacturing and tourism, as well as suitability to satisfy domestic and international demand. The programme will be carried out in all six provinces of Vanuatu.
Commissioner Mimica welcomed the agreement by stating: "This programme is an important milestone in our relationship with Vanuatu. This initiative will support the livelihood of smallholder farmers by improving the safety and quality of key export crops while promoting its climate-resilient production and trade. It is an expression of our common interest in building a strong and climate-resilient rural economy, for a more prosperous and independent Vanuatu."
Situated in the South Pacific Ocean, the Republic of Vanuatu was struck by Tropical Cyclone Pam in 2015, one of the worst natural disasters in the history of the country. To support its recovery, the European Union assists Vanuatu's rehabilitation efforts in the agricultural sector by contributing to a more sustainable rural development.
The Vanuatu Value Chains programme was designed to fully support the country's rural development and trade sector policies. It is aligned with Vanuatu's Recovery Plan, which was launched following the destruction caused by Tropical Cyclone Pam, by strengthening the climate-resilience of the rural economy. It was developed in close partnership with the Government of Vanuatu and successfully adopted in January 2018. The VaVaC Programme will be financed under the 11th European Development Fund.