This grant aid of 2.3 million US dollars or 250 million Vatu was announced by the Prime Minister of Japan, H.E. Mr. Shinzo Abe at the bilateral meeting with the Honorable Prime Minister of the Republic of Vanuatu, H.E. Hon. Charlot Salwai Tabimasmas, on the occasion of PALM8 which was held in May this year in Japan. This grant aid of the Economic and Social Development Program will fund the purchase of equipment such as a drilling water rig, water tanker, desalination facilities for the development of water resources and the improvement of water supply system in Vanuatu. This cooperation is in line with one of three important pillars of the PALM8 Leaders’ Declaration, that is, “Strengthening the Basis for Self-Sufficient, Resilient and Sustainable Development”.
Japan and Vanuatu are located in the same Pacific Volcanic belt. Japan has also suffered from the disasters caused by the volcano. In July 2000, the volcano of Miyake Island near to Tokyo erupted. 4,000 people of Miyake Island were evacuated and relocated because the volcanic activity continued for a long time.
We fully understand what a difficult time the people of Ambae Island are currently going throughin struggling for the new lives in new places after evacuating from their home lands due to the dangerous eruptions of Manaro volcano. We sincerely hope that the water supply equipment procured by this grant aid will improve access to water resources in remote islands such as Maewo Island where a large number of population evacuated from Ambae Island have been relocated.
In 2015 after the Cyclone Pam, Japan provided the grant aid of the same Economic and Social Development Program with this time. By this fund, the Government of Vanuatu purchased the road construction machinery such as excavator, motor grader, wheel loader, single drum roller, dump truck and water tanker, which are now used in Maewo Island.
Japan is also considering additional initiatives to support the improvement of school facilities for the evacuated people from Ambae Island through the Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects Programme. From Japan’s experience, one of the most important problems for the evacuated and relocated people from the dangerous volcanic activities of islands is the education of children.
In last month, Japan suffered from the loss and the damage caused by the heavy rainfall. This was the largest disaster of flooding and landslides in the past 30 years. More than 200 people were victimized. At that time, the Honorable Prime Minister of the Republic of Vanuatu, H.E. Hon. Charlot Salwai Tabimasmas, sent the most heartfelt and encouraging letter for the bereaved families and the Government and people of Japan, to the Prime Minister of Japan, H.E. Mr. Shinzo Abe. Prime Minister of Japan, the Government and people of Japan are very grateful to the Honorable Prime Minister of the Republic of Vanuatu, the Government and people of Vanuatu for the very kind thoughts to the loss and damage in Japan.
We are determined to work closely in solidarity and enhance our cooperation in strengthening the basis for self-sufficient, resilient and sustainable development.
We believe that this grant aid will contribute to the welfare of the people of Vanuatu, and the cooperation and friendship between our two countries will be further enhanced and promoted.
Tankiu Tumas, Thank you very much, andMerci beaucoup".