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Country Profile

Vanuatu

Vanuatu consists of more than 80 islands in a Y-shaped archipelago, 1300 miles northeast of Sydney, Australia. It is an independent parliamentary democracy and a member of the British Commonwealth, with a primarily agricultural economy. Tourist facilities are limited outside the capital, Port Vila, which is located on the Island of Efate. The National Tourism Office of Vanuatu can be contacted at PO Box 209, Port Vila, Vanuatu, telephone (678) 22515, 22685, 22813, fax (678) 23889. Read the Department of State’s Background Notes on Vanuatu for additional information.

Vanuatu

   
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 COUNTRY OVERVIEW
Country Name: Vanuatu
Continent: Oceania
Capital City: Port-Vila
Boundary Countries:

No land boundaries.

Recommended Hospitals in Capital:
Main Cities:

Port-Vila, Luganville, Ipota, Forari

Country Size: 12,189 sq km
Population: 218,519

 

COUNTRY GENERAL INFORMATION
Language:

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%

Currency: vatu (VUV)
Predominant 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%

National Holidays: Independence Day, 30 July (1980)
Economic Status:

This South Pacific island economy is based primarily on small-scale agriculture, which provides a living for over 70% of the population. Fishing, offshore financial services, and tourism, with nearly 197,000 visitors in 2008, are other mainstays of the economy.

Security:

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

US Presence:

The U.S. Embassy in Papua New Guinea provides primary assistance for U.S. citizens in Vanuatu. The Embassy is located on Douglas Street, adjacent to the Bank of Papua New Guinea, in Port Moresby. The address for express/courier mail service is: U.S. Embassy, Douglas St., next to Bank of PNG, Port Moresby, NCD 121. The mailing address is Douglas St., PO Box 1492, Port Moresby, N.C.D. 121, Papua New Guinea; the telephone number is (675) 321-1455; after hours duty officer telephone number is (675) - 7200 - 9439; Fax (675) 321-1593. U.S. citizens may submit consular inquiries via e-mail to: ConsularPortMoresby@state.gov

Document Requirements:

A valid passport, onward/return ticket, and proof of sufficient funds are required. Visas are not required for stays up to 30 days, after which an extension of stay of up to 120 days is possible. Standard residence permits are issued initially for one year and are subject to annual renewal. A non-refundable application fee is payable to the Immigration Office upon submission of the completed application form. For further information on residency permits please contact the Principal Immigration Officer, Immigration Department at PMG 9092, Port Vila, Telephone +678-22354. For further information on entry requirements, particularly for those persons planning to enter by a sailing vessel, please visit the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Vanuatu to the United Nations website, 800 Second Avenue, Suite 400B, New York, NY 10017, Telephone: (212) 661-4303; fax: (212) 422-3427, (212) 661-5544, or they may be contacted via e-mail.

Travelers who plan to transit or visit Australia must enter that country with an Australian visa or, if eligible, through the Electronic Travel Authority (ETA). The ETA replaces a visa and allows eligible travelers a stay of up to three months in Australia. An ETA may be obtained for a small service fee at http://www.eta.immi.gov.au. Airlines and many travel agents in the United States are also able to issue ETA’s. Travelers may obtain more information about the ETA and Australian entry requirements from the Australian Embassy at 1601 Massachusetts Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20036, tel. (202) 797-3000, or via the Australian Embassy’s web site at http://www.austemb.org.

The Government of Vanuatu does not impose any entry restrictions for persons with the HIV/AIDS virus, as long as they include the information on the arrival form.

Information about dual nationality or the prevention of international child abduction can be found on our website. For further information about customs regulations, please read our Customs Information page.

Major Airports:

Airports: 31  Airports with paved runways: 3

Port Vila - Bauerfield International Airport (VLI/NVVV)
PO Box 7115, Port Vila
Cargo Terminal, Vanuatu Terminal Services Ltd, Port Vila, 131
Tel: +678 25111, +678 22993, +678 26783
Fax: +678 25532, +678 26784
Website: www.airports.vu

Servicing Airlines:
Risks and Precautions:

Civil disorder is rare; however, U.S. citizens are advised to avoid public demonstrations and/or political rallies if they occur.
Although violent crime is rare in Vanuatu, the level of criminal activity has increased during the past year. Typical crimes in Vanuatu are theft, burglary, and sexual harassment/assault. Tourists should take reasonable precautions to avoid exposing themselves to undue risk, especially in Luganville (Espiritu Santo island), Lakatoro (Malekula island), and Lenakel (Tanna island). Women have sometimes been victims of sexual assault or harassment in Vanuatu and should avoid going out alone at night or to isolated locations, especially on foot.
Vanuatu is prone to sudden tidal movements, tropical storms, and cyclones. Cyclone season in Vanuatu is from November to April, when flooding, landslides, and disruptions to services may occur. Cyclones may also occur in other months. The direction and strength of tropical cyclones can change with little warning.
Vanuatu is situated in an active seismic zone and is prone to volcanic eruptions and earthquakes, which sometimes may be followed by tsunamis. The risk level of Vanuatu’s many active volcanoes can change on a daily basis. In January 2010, Vanuatu authorities increased the alert level for the volcano Mount Yasur on the island of Tanna, to “very high level of activity." Authorities advise tourists not to visit the area.

Mortality Statistics:

Infant MR total: 49.45 deaths/1,000 live births
Life expectancy at birth:  TOTAL 63.98 years (male: 62.37/ female 65.66)

Immunization Indicators:

Required: None
Recommended: Hep A & B, Typhoid, Malaria
Boosters: MMR, DPT, as needed

Infectious Disease Concerns:

Areas of Vanuatu with Malaria: All.
All of the following antimalarial drugs are equal options for preventing malaria in Vanuatu: Atovaquone/proguanil, doxycycline, or mefloquine. For information that can help you and your doctor decide which of these drugs would be best for you, please see Choosing a Drug to Prevent Malaria.
Note: Chloroquine is NOT an effective antimalarial drug in Vanuatu and should not be taken to prevent malaria in this region.
Dengue, filariasis, Ross River virus, and Murray Valley encephalitis are diseases carried by insects that also occur in the Pacific Island region. Protecting yourself against insect bites (see below) will help to prevent these diseases. Japanese encephalitis is present in Papua New Guinea and the Torres Strait and far northern Australia.  Leptospirosis is common on some of the Pacific Islands.
High attack rates of ciguatera poisoning from eating large reef-dwelling fish have been reported on some of the islands.

Overall Quality of Medical Services:

Hospital and medical facilities in Vanuatu are limited. Costs for treatment, including for pharmaceuticals, can be very expensive. Doctors and hospitals often expect immediate cash payment for their services. In the event of a serious illness or accident (including diving-related injuries), medical evacuation to a destination with appropriate facilities would be necessary. A medical evacuation can cost more than ten thousand US dollars. The nearest reliable medical treatment is in Australia or New Zealand. There are two hyperbaric recompression chambers in Vanuatu; one is in Luganville, on the island of Espiritu Santo, and the other is in Port Vila, on the island of Efate. Please note, however, that diving-related injuries may require medical evacuation to Australia or New Zealand. There is a paramedic service in Vanuatu called ProMedical, which is manned by Australian and New Zealand personnel and which also handles any medical evacuations.
Pharmacies in Vanuatu are found only in urban centers and at missionary clinics. They are small and may be inadequately stocked. Travelers should bring adequate supplies of medications for their stay in Vanuatu.
Travelers who anticipate the possible need for medical treatment in Australia should obtain entry permission for Australia in advance. Entry permission for Australian can be granted by the Australian High Commission in Port Vila, but it may be easier to obtain a visa or ETA prior to leaving the US (See section above on Entry/Exit Requirements).

Providers in Network:
Direct Payment: 0
Referrals: 7
View Network Providers
Recent Medical Threats/ Concerns/Warnings:

Periodic outbreaks of measles have occurred on islands with inadequate immunization coverage.

Cases of melioidosis have been reported from Papua New Guinea, Guam, and Australia; risk may exist on other islands.

Communications Info:

Country Calling Code:  +678
Internet Country Code:  .vu

 



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