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Mel n Bri in Vanuatu
About Vanuatu
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Red symbolizes blood. Yellow represents sunshine. Green stands for the islands' riches. Black reflects the Melanesian population. Effective date 30 July 1980.
Vanuatu    Introduction
Background: The British and French who settled the New Hebrides in the 19th century, agreed in 1906 to an Anglo-French Condominium, which administered the islands until independence in 1980.
Vanuatu    Geography
Location: Oceania, group of islands in the South Pacific Ocean, about three-quarters of the way from Hawaii to Australia
Area: includes more than 80 islands
Area - comparative: slightly larger than Connecticut
Climate: tropical; moderated by southeast trade winds
Terrain: mostly mountains of volcanic origin; narrow coastal plains
Elevation extremes: lowest point:  Pacific Ocean 0 m
highest point:  Tabwemasana 1,877 m
Natural resources: manganese, hardwood forests, fish
Land use: arable land:  2%
permanent crops:  10%
permanent pastures:  2%
forests and woodland:  75%
other:  11% (1993 est.)
Natural hazards: tropical cyclones or typhoons (January to April); volcanism causes minor earthquakes
Environment - current issues: a majority of the population does not have access to a potable and reliable supply of water; deforestation
Vanuatu    People
Population: 192,910 (July 2001 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years:  36.35% (male 35,822; female 34,299)
15-64 years:  60.43% (male 59,764; female 56,808) 65 years and over:  3.22% (male 3,348; female 2,869) (2001 est.)
Birth rate: 25.4 births/1,000 population (2001 est.)
Death rate: 8.38 deaths/1,000 population (2001 est.)
Sex ratio: at birth:  1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years:  1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years:  1.05 male(s)/female
65 years and over:  1.17 male(s)/female
total population:  1.05 male(s)/female (2001 est.)
Infant mortality rate: 61.05 deaths/1,000 live births (2001 est.)
Life expectancy at birth: total population:  60.95 years
male:  59.58 years
female:  62.39 years (2001 est.)
Total fertility rate: 3.19 children born/woman (2001 est.)
Nationality: noun:  Ni-Vanuatu (singular and plural)
adjective:  Ni-Vanuatu
Ethnic groups: indigenous Melanesian 94%, French 4%, Vietnamese, Chinese, Pacific Islanders
Religions: Presbyterian 36.7%, Anglican 15%, Roman Catholic 15%, indigenous beliefs 7.6%, Seventh-Day Adventist 6.2%, Church of Christ 3.8%, other 15.7%
Languages: English (official), French (official), pidgin (known as Bislama or Bichelama)
Literacy: definition:  age 15 and over can read and write
total population:  53%
male:  57%
female:  48% (1979 est.)
Vanuatu    Government
Country name: conventional long form:  Republic of Vanuatu
conventional short form:  Vanuatu
former:  New Hebrides
Government type: republic
Capital: Port-Vila
Administrative divisions: 6 provinces; Malampa, Penama, Sanma, Shefa, Tafea, Torba
Independence: 30 July 1980 (from France and UK)
National holiday: Independence Day, 30 July (1980)
Constitution: 30 July 1980
Legal system: unified system being created from former dual French and British systems
Executive branch: chief of state:  President Father John BANI (since 25 March 1999)

head of government:  Prime Minister Edward NATAPEI (since 16 April 2001); Deputy Prime Minister Serge VOHOR (since 16 April 2001)

cabinet:  Council of Ministers appointed by the prime minister, responsible to Parliament

elections:  president elected for a four-year term by an electoral college consisting of Parliament and the presidents of the regional councils for a five-year term; election for president last held 25 March 1999 (next to be held NA 2003); following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or majority coalition is usually elected prime minister by Parliament from among its members; election for prime minister last held 16 April 2001 (next to be held NA 2002)

election results:  Father John BANI elected president; percent of electoral college vote - NA%; Edward NATAPEI elected prime minister by Parliament with a total of 27 out of 52 votes

note:  the government of Prime Minister Barak SOPE was ousted in a no confidence vote on 14 April 2001 and Edward NATAPEI was elected the new prime minister by Parliament
Legislative branch: unicameral Parliament (52 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms)

elections:  last held 6 March 1998 (next to be held NA 2002)

election results:  percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - VP 18, UMP 12, NUP 11, other and independent 11; note - political party associations are fluid; there have been four changes of government since the November 1995 elections

note:  the National Council of Chiefs advises on matters of custom and land
Judicial branch: Supreme Court (chief justice is appointed by the president after consultation with the prime minister and the leader of the opposition, three other justices are appointed by the president on the advice of the Judicial Service Commission)
Political parties and leaders: Melanesian Progressive Party or MPP [Barak SOPE]; National United Party or NUP [Willie TITONGOA]; Union of Moderate Parties or UMP [Serge VOHOR]; Vanuaaku Party (Our Land Party) or VP [Edward NATAPEI]; Vanuatu Republican Party [Maxime Carlot KORMAN]
International organization participation: ACCT, ACP, AsDB, C, ESCAP, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IFC, IFRCS, IMF, IMO, Intelsat (nonsignatory user), IOC, ITU, NAM, Sparteca, SPC, SPF, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNMIBH, UNTAET, UPU, WFTU, WHO, WMO, WTrO (observer)
Diplomatic representation in the US: Vanuatu does not have an embassy in the US, it does, however, have a Permanent Mission to the UN
Diplomatic representation from the US: the US does not have an embassy in Vanuatu; the ambassador to Papua New Guinea is accredited to Vanuatu
Vanuatu    Economy
Economy - overview: The economy is based primarily on subsistence or small-scale agriculture which provides a living for 65% of the population. Fishing, offshore financial services, and tourism, with about 50,000 visitors in 1997, are other mainstays of the economy. Mineral deposits are negligible; the country has no known petroleum deposits. A small light industry sector caters to the local market. Tax revenues come mainly from import duties. Economic development is hindered by dependence on relatively few commodity exports, vulnerability to natural disasters, and long distances from main markets and between constituent islands. The most recent natural disaster, a severe earthquake in November 1999 followed by a tsunami, caused extensive damage to the northern island of Pentecote and left thousands homeless. GDP growth has risen less than 3% on average in the 1990s. In response to foreign concerns, the government is moving to tighten regulation of its offshore financial center.


GDP - per capita:

purchasing power parity - $245 million (1999 est.)

Purchasing power parity - $1,300 (1999 est.)

GDP - composition by sector: agriculture:  20%
industry:  9%
services:  71% (1999 est.)
Labor force - by occupation: agriculture 65%, services 32%, industry 3% (1995 est.)
Budget: revenues:  $94.4 million
expenditures:  $99.8 million, including capital expenditures of $30.4 million (1996 est.)
Industries: food and fish freezing, wood processing, meat canning
Electricity - production: 35 million kWh (1999)
Electricity - production by source: fossil fuel:  100%
hydro:  0%
nuclear:  0%
other:  0% (1999)
Electricity - consumption: 32.6 million kWh (1999)
Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (1999)
Electricity - imports: 0 kWh (1999)
Agriculture - products: copra, coconuts, cocoa, coffee, taro, yams, coconuts, fruits, vegetables; fish, beef
Exports: $25.3 million (f.o.b., 1999)
Exports - commodities: copra, kava, beef, cocoa, timber, coffee
Exports - partners: Japan 32%, Germany 14%, Spain 8%, New Caledonia 7%, Australia 2% (1997 est.)
Imports: $77.2 million (f.o.b., 1999)
Imports - commodities: machinery and equipment, foodstuffs, fuels
Imports - partners: Japan 52%, Australia 20%, New Caledonia, Singapore, New Zealand, France, Fiji (1997 est.)
Economic aid - recipient: $45.8 million (1995)
Currency: vatu (VUV)
Currency code: VUV
Exchange rates: vatu per US dollar - 143.95 (December 2000), 137.82 (2000), 129.08 (1999), 127.52 (1998), 115.87 (1997), 111.72 (1996)
Fiscal year: calendar year
Vanuatu    Communications
Telephones - main lines in use: 4,000 (1996)
Telephones - mobile cellular: 154 (1996)
Radio broadcast stations: AM 2, FM 2, shortwave 1 (1998)
Radios: 62,000 (1997)
Television broadcast stations: 1 (1997)
Televisions: 2,000 (1997)
Internet country code: .vu
Internet Service Providers (ISPs): 1 (2000)
Internet users: 3,000 (2000)
Vanuatu    Transportation
Railways: 0 km
Highways: total:  1,070 km
paved:  256 km
unpaved:  814 km (1996)
Waterways: none
Ports and harbors: Forari, Port-Vila, Santo (Espiritu Santo)
Merchant marine: total:  54 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 1,067,384 GRT/1,330,543 DWT

ships by type:  bulk 23, cargo 7, chemical tanker 3, combination bulk 2, container 1, liquefied gas 3, petroleum tanker 2, refrigerated cargo 7, vehicle carrier 6

note:  includes some foreign-owned ships registered here as a flag of convenience: Australia 2, Canada 1, China 1, France 1, Greece 1, Hong Kong 1, Japan 22, Netherlands 1, Norway 1, Switzerland 1, US 4 (2000 est.)
Airports: 32 (2000 est.)
Airports - with paved runways: total:  2

2,438 to 3,047 m:  1
914 to 1,523 m:  1 (2000 est.)
Airports - with unpaved runways: total:  30
1,524 to 2,437 m:  2
914 to 1,523 m:  11
under 914 m:  17 (2000 est.)
Vanuatu    Military
Military branches: no regular military forces; Vanuatu Police Force (VPF; includes the paramilitary Vanuatu Mobile Force or VMF)

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