In February 2018 the director committee for the Pacific Funds has been gathered under the presidency of Mr. Philippe Germain, president of the New Caledonian government. This meeting aimed to finalize the list of the projects selected under the 2018 Pacific Fund.
This program, fully funded by the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, is dedicated to projects involving three French territories in the Pacific (New Caledonia, Wallis & Futuna, and French Polynesia) to strengthen their regional integration, according to the press-statement by the French embassy in Vanuatu.
This year the total budget of the Pacific Funds program is 1.4 million euro, with 225 000€ (almost 30 million vatu) been granted to 5 projects in Vanuatu.
Among these projects is implementation of the phase III of the ORSNET program (Oceania Regional Seismological NETwork) to better monitor the seismologic and Tsunami risks in the Pacific region. This project is led by Vanuatu Meteorological & Geohazards Department (VMGD) and involves the seismologic departments of New-Caledonia, Samoa, Tonga, PNG, Fiji and Solomon Islands. A total of 3.9 million vatu has been granted to the VMGD.
Around 1.3 million vatu will be given to the Association Partage Santé Pacifique (APSP) based in New Caledonia and French Polynesia. This amount will be used to conduct three trainings for health professionals such as nurses and midwives at the hospitals of Luganville, Norsup and Lolowai.
Around 2.6 million vatu will go to the Ministry of Education and Training to support the launch and operations of the new bilingual tourism bachelor program. This bilingual program will be implemented in cooperation with foreign universities such as University of New Caledonia, the Jean Jaures University of Toulouse in France, the Taylor’s university from Malaysia and the Victoria University in Australia.
3.2 million vatu have been granted to the Vanuatu Agricultural Research Technical Center (VARTC) to update their collection of plantain bananas. In cooperation with research centers in New Caledonia and Fiji, the objective is to identify and preserve the genetic specifications of the Vanuatu species.
Around 18 million vatu will be provided to the Regional Cooperation Convention with New Caledonia. This program aims to strengthen the cooperation between Vanuatu and its close neighbor through supporting educational projects.