More information about Vanuatu is available on the Vanuatu Country Page and from other Department of State publications and other sources listed at the end of this fact sheet.
The United States and Vanuatu established diplomatic relations in 1986, six years after Vanuatu's independence from France and the United Kingdom. The U.S. Ambassador to Papua New Guinea is also accredited to Vanuatu. U.S. representation is handled by the U.S. Embassy in Papua New Guinea. Peace Corps maintains a country office in Port Vila, Vanuatu. The United States and Vanuatu share a commitment to strengthening democracy, enhancing security, and promoting development.
U.S. Assistance to Vanuatu
The Vanuatu Government's main concern has been to bolster the economy, which is primarily agricultural. The United States is a major financial contributor to international and regional organizations that assist Vanuatu, including the World Bank, UN Children's Fund, World Health Organization, UN Fund for Population Activities, and Asian Development Bank (ADB). Peace Corps volunteers are assisting communities in Vanuatu in the areas of health and education. Peace Corps and USAID are cooperatively administering a small-grants project to assist communities in adapting to climate change. The United States provides security assistance training. Vanuatu was the recipient of a Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) $65 million compact which constructed two critical roads on the country’s most populous islands. This project has had a positive impact across a range of economic and social indicators from entrepreneuriship to health to women’s empowerment. With the opening of the USAID Pacific Islands Regional Office in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea in October, 2011, USAID will be providing development assistance related to climate change in Vanuatu. Vanuatu is one of the focus countries for the new five-year, $25 million Climate Change Adaptation Program for the Pacific, which will focus on assisting communities to adapt infrastructure, health systems, agricultural practices, and economic livelihoods to the new realities of climate change.
Bilateral Economic Relations
U.S. trade with Vanuatu is very limited.
Vanuatu's Membership in International Organizations
In keeping with its need for financial assistance, Vanuatu has joined the International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank, and ADB, organizations to which the United States also belongs. Vanuatu is a member of the United Nations and is a World Trade Organization observer, pending completion of the accession process.
Vanuatu has no embassy in Washington, DC, but has a mission to the United Nations in New York.
More information about Vanuatu is available from the Department of State and other sources, some of which are listed here:
Department of State Vanuatu Country Page
Department of State Key Officers List
CIA World Factbook Vanuatu Page
Human Rights Reports
International Religious Freedom Reports
Narcotics Control Reports
U.S. Census Bureau Foreign Trade Statistics