Vanuatu is a 900 kilometre-long cluster of more than 80 islands. Many of the islands are mountainous and densely forested with narrow strips of farming land on the coasts. Almost 80 percent of the population live on the 12 largest islands. Bush-materials, such as thatched coconut leaves and woven bamboo are used for housing in the villages. Electricity is generated using imported fuel and is only generally available in five urban centres. Roads link major settlements but few are sealed.
The country is renowned for its beautiful island scenery and strong cultural traditions, but it is also plagued with extreme poverty, gender inequality and violence, high population growth, weak service delivery, climate change and natural disasters.
- Total population: 240,000[i]
- Average life expectancy: 71 years[ii]
- Births attended by skilled health personnel: 74 percent[iii]
- Population living below the national poverty line: 15.9 percent[iv]
World Vision is a Christian relief, development and advocacy organisation dedicated to working with children, families and communities to overcome poverty and injustice.
Inspired by our Christian values, we are dedicated to working with the world’s most vulnerable people. We serve all people regardless of religion, race, ethnicity or gender.
We assist 100 million people worldwide (including 2.4 million children), work in close to 100 countries and have more than 40,000 staff.
World Vision opened its office in Vanuatu in the early 1980s and started a series of projects that supported communities with income generating projects, such as chicken farming, fishing and food processing.
Once our income generating projects were established, we turned our attention to the low levels of literacy within communities and the impact it was having on development. By 1990, World Vision had become well known for its adult literacy programs in rural communities. Vanuatu’s national training council accredited the program and now churches and other not-for-profit organisations have adopted this approach. We also identified a gap in early childhood education and now help to set up pre-schools in rural communities and provide training for volunteer pre-school teachers.
Health also became a focus for World Vision during the 1990s. Rural communities lacked health facilities and services, and communities had little knowledge about how to protect themselves from diseases and infections. We worked with the Ministry of Health and other partner organizations to set up basic healthcare centres and train healthcare workers.
Water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) became an important part of our health projects and today we are one of the most important WASH implementers in the country.
We are currently working under the newly formed World Vision Pacific Timor Leste (PTL) National Office. The National Office includes four Country Offices – Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu, Timor-Leste and the Solomon Islands, with a coordinating office based in Brisbane, Australia.