New Zealand High Commission Port Vila, Vanuatu

New Zealand Supports Rural Development

On Friday 11 September 2009 the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) signed a new package of support for the Vanuatu Rural Development Training Centres Association (VRDTCA).

The agreement will see funding provided by New Zealand to support VRDTCA’s work to strengthen rural training throughout Vanuatu. This will include staff training, capacity building, operational costs, and the development of new training materials for delivery through Rural Training Centres.

MFAT has committed up to Vatu 60 million for the first three years of the five-year programme.

“Rural skills and livelihoods are a key focus of New Zealand's support to Vanuatu. We hope that through this partnership with VRDTCA, the New Zealand Aid Programme will contribute to achieving economic benefits for Vanuatu in terms of creating and building livelihood opportunities especially for young people in rural areas,” New Zealand Development Programme Counsellor Sara Carley said.

This funding assistance is in line with New Zealand's new Strategy for Engaging with Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in Vanuatu which aims to build CSO capacity to reduce hardship, including through better coordination, information sharing and advocacy.

VRDTCA and MFAT developed the new programme in partnership with Oxfam New Zealand. “It is also important to recognise the support and commitment shown by Oxfam New Zealand and in particular their experience in building capacity of local NGOs,” Sara Carley said. Oxfam will contribute 20% of the total funds towards VRDTCA’s five-year programme.

On behalf of VRDTCA, the Director Kathy Solomon thanked the New Zealand High Commission for committing to a new partnership. She said VRDTCA will be able to expand its service delivery to the students of RTCs in the area of skills and vocational training. VRDTCA’s target groups are the school leavers and disadvantaged youth in rural areas.

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