Vanuatu

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Introduction - Vanuatu:

Country

Vanuatu

Background

Multiple waves of colonizers, each speaking a distinct language, migrated to the New Hebrides in the millennia preceding European exploration in the 18th century. This settlement pattern accounts for the complex linguistic diversity found on the archipelago to this day. 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, when the new name of Vanuatu was adopted.

Location - Vanuatu:

Location

Oceania, group of islands in the South Pacific Ocean, about three-quarters of the way from Hawaii to Australia

Geographic coordinates

16 00 S, 167 00 E

Map references

Oceania

Area

total: 12,200 sq km
land: 12,200 sq km
water: 0 sq km
note: includes more than 80 islands, about 65 of which are inhabited

Area comparative

slightly larger than Connecticut

Land boundaries

0 km

Coastline

2,528 km

Maritime claims

measured from claimed archipelagic baselines
territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: 200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin

Climate

tropical; moderated by southeast trade winds from May to October; moderate rainfall from November to April; may be affected by cyclones from December to April

Terrain

mostly mountainous islands 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: 1.64%
permanent crops: 6.97%
other: 91.39% (2005)

Irrigated land

NA

Natural hazards

tropical cyclones or typhoons (January to April); volcanic eruption on Aoba (Ambae) island began 27 November 2005, volcanism also causes minor earthquakes; tsunamis

Environment current issues

a majority of the population does not have access to a reliable supply of potable water; deforestation

Environment international agreements

party to: Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 94
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Geography note

a Y-shaped chain of four main islands and 80 smaller islands; several of the islands have active volcanoes

People - Vanuatu:

Population

211,971 (July 2007 est.)

Age structure

0-14 years: 31.9% (male 34,590/female 33,124)
15-64 years: 64.3% (male 69,496/female 66,745)
65 years and over: 3.8% (male 4,178/female 3,838) (2007 est.)

Median age

total: 23.4 years
male: 23.4 years
female: 23.4 years (2007 est.)

Population growth rate

1.46% (2007 est.)

Birth rate

22.35 births/1,000 population (2007 est.)

Death rate

7.75 deaths/1,000 population (2007 est.)

Net migration rate

0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2007 est.)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.044 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.041 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 1.089 male(s)/female
total population: 1.044 male(s)/female (2007 est.)

Infant mortality rate

total: 52.45 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 54.96 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 49.81 deaths/1,000 live births (2007 est.)

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 63.22 years
male: 61.67 years
female: 64.84 years (2007 est.)

Total fertility rate

2.63 children born/woman (2007 est.)

Hiv aids adult prevalence rate

NA

Hiv aids people living with hiv aids

NA

Hiv aids deaths

NA

Nationality

noun: Ni-Vanuatu (singular and plural)
adjective: Ni-Vanuatu

Ethnic groups

Ni-Vanuatu 98.5%, other 1.5% (1999 Census)

Religions

Presbyterian 31.4%, Anglican 13.4%, Roman Catholic 13.1%, Seventh-Day Adventist 10.8%, other Christian 13.8%, indigenous beliefs 5.6% (including Jon Frum cargo cult), other 9.6%, none 1%, unspecified 1.3% (1999 Census)

Languages

local languages (more than 100) 72.6%, pidgin (known as Bislama or Bichelama) 23.1%, English 1.9%, French 1.4%, other 0.3%, unspecified 0.7% (1999 Census)

Literacy

definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 74%
male: NA
female: NA (1999 census)

Government - Vanuatu:

Country name

conventional long form: Republic of Vanuatu
conventional short form: Vanuatu
local long form: Ripablik blong Vanuatu
local short form: Vanuatu
former: New Hebrides

Government type

parliamentary republic

Capital

name: Port-Vila (on Efate)
geographic coordinates: 17 44 S, 168 19 E
time difference: UTC+11 (16 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)

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

Suffrage

18 years of age; universal

Executive branch

chief of state: President Kalkot Matas KELEKELE (since 16 August 2004)
head of government: Prime Minister Ham LINI (since 11 December 2004); Deputy Prime Minister Sato KILMAN (since 11 December 2004)
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the prime minister, responsible to Parliament
elections: president elected for a five-year term by an electoral college consisting of Parliament and the presidents of the regional councils; election for president last held 16 August 2004 (next to be held in 2009); 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 29 July 2004 (next to be held following general elections in 2008)
election results: Kalkot Matas KELEKELE elected president, with 49 votes out of 56, after several ballots on 16 August 2004

Legislative branch

unicameral Parliament (52 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms)
elections: last held 6 July 2004 (next to be held 2008)
election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - NUP 10, UMP 8, VP 8, VRP 4, MPP 3, VGP 3, other and independent 16; note - political party associations are fluid
note: the National Council of Chiefs advises on matters of culture and language

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

Jon Frum Movement [Song KEASPAI]; Melanesian Progressive Party or MPP [Barak SOPE]; National United Party or NUP [Hem LINI]; Union of Moderate Parties or UMP [Serge VOHOR]; Vanuaaku Pati (Our Land Party) or VP [Edward NATAPEI]; Vanuatu Greens Party or VGP [Moana CARCASSES]; Vanuatu Republican Party or VRP [Maxime Carlot KORMAN]

Political pressure groups and leaders

NA

International organization participation

ACCT, ACP, AsDB, C, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, IOC, ITU, ITUC, MIGA, NAM, OIF, OPCW, PIF, Sparteca, SPC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNOCI, UPU, WFTU, WHO, WMO, WTO (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

Flag description

two equal horizontal bands of red (top) and green with a black isosceles triangle (based on the hoist side) all separated by a black-edged yellow stripe in the shape of a horizontal Y (the two points of the Y face the hoist side and enclose the triangle); centered in the triangle is a boars tusk encircling two crossed namele leaves, all in yellow

Economy - Vanuatu:

Economy overview

This South Pacific island economy is based primarily on small-scale agriculture, which provides a living for 65% of the population. Fishing, offshore financial services, and tourism, with more than 60,000 visitors in 2005, 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. GDP growth rose less than 3% on average in the 1990s. In response to foreign concerns, the government has promised to tighten regulation of its offshore financial center. In mid-2002 the government stepped up efforts to boost tourism through improved air connections, resort development, and cruise ship facilities. Agriculture, especially livestock farming, is a second target for growth. Australia and New Zealand are the main suppliers of tourists and foreign aid.

Gdp purchasing power parity

$739 million (2006 est.)

Gdp official exchange rate

$341 million (2005)

Gdp real growth rate

6.8% (2005 est.)

Gdp per capita ppp

$2,900 (2003 est.)

Gdp composition by sector

agriculture: 26%
industry: 12%
services: 62% (2000 est.)

Labor force

76,410 (1999)

Labor force by occupation

agriculture: 65%
industry: 5%
services: 30% (2000 est.)

Unemployment rate

1.7% (1999)

Population below poverty line

NA%

Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%

Inflation rate consumer prices

-1.6% (2005 est.)

Budget

revenues: $78.7 million
expenditures: $72.23 million (2005 est.)

Agriculture products

copra, coconuts, cocoa, coffee, taro, yams, fruits, vegetables; beef; fish

Industries

food and fish freezing, wood processing, meat canning

Industrial production growth rate

1% (1997 est.)

Electricity production

43 million kWh (2004)

Electricity consumption

39.99 million kWh (2004)

Electricity exports

0 kWh (2004 est.)

Electricity imports

0 kWh (2004)

Oil production

0 bbl/day (2004 est.)

Oil consumption

620 bbl/day (2004 est.)

Oil exports

NA bbl/day

Oil imports

NA bbl/day

Oil proved reserves

0 bbl

Natural gas production

0 cu m (2004 est.)

Natural gas consumption

0 cu m (2004 est.)

Current account balance

-$28.35 million (2003)

Exports

$34.11 million f.o.b. (2004 est.)

Exports commodities

copra, beef, cocoa, timber, kava, coffee

Exports partners

Thailand 59%, India 16.5%, Japan 11.3% (2006)

Imports

$117.1 million c.i.f. (2004 est.)

Imports commodities

machinery and equipment, foodstuffs, fuels

Imports partners

Australia 20%, Japan 19.2%, Singapore 11.7%, NZ 8.6%, Fiji 7.5%, China 7.2%, New Caledonia 4.2% (2006)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

$40.54 million (2003)

Debt external

$81.2 million (2004)

Economic aid recipient

$37.8 million (2004)

Currency code

vatu (VUV)

Exchange rates

vatu per US dollar - 111.93 (2006), NA (2005), 111.79 (2004), 122.19 (2003), 139.2 (2002)

Communications - Vanuatu:

Fiscal year

calendar year

Telephones main lines in use

7,000 (2005)

Telephones mobile cellular

12,700 (2005)

Telephone system

general assessment: NA
domestic: NA
international: country code - 678; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Pacific Ocean)

Radio broadcast stations

AM 2, FM 4, shortwave 1 (2001)

Television broadcast stations

1 (2004)

Internet country code

.vu

Internet hosts

413 (2006)

Internet users

7,500 (2004)

Transportation - Vanuatu:

Airports

31 (2006)

Airports with paved runways

total: 3
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2006)

Airports with unpaved runways

total: 28
914 to 1,523 m: 10
under 914 m: 18 (2006)

Roadways

total: 1,070 km
paved: 256 km
unpaved: 814 km (1999)

Merchant marine

total: 51 ships (1000 GRT or over) 1,340,132 GRT/1,908,687 DWT
by type: bulk carrier 29, cargo 8, container 1, liquefied gas 2, petroleum tanker 1, refrigerated cargo 3, roll on/roll off 2, vehicle carrier 5
foreign-owned: 51 (Australia 2, Canada 5, Denmark 6, Estonia 1, Japan 28, Poland 5, Russia 1, Switzerland 2, US 1) (2006)

Ports and terminals

Forari, Port-Vila, Santo (Espiritu Santo)

Military - Vanuatu:

Military branches

no regular military forces; Vanuatu Police Force (VPF), Vanuatu Mobile Force (VMF; includes Police Maritime Wing (PMW)) (2007)

Manpower available for military service

males age 18-49: 50,221 (2005 est.)

Manpower fit for military service

males age 18-49: 33,837 (2005 est.)

Military expenditures percent of gdp

NA

This page was last updated on 16 September, 2007
Source: CIA >>>


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