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International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
Border closures and other pandemic containment measures have kept Vanuatu free from COVID-19. However, they have dealt a heavy blow to economic activity as tourism has come to a virtual halt. On top of the pandemic, Tropical Cyclone Harold and a volcanic eruption in Tanna Island caused extensive economic damage in 2020. In the context of a continued loss of correspondent banking relationships (CBRs) in the Pacific, Vanuatu also lost a key CBR at end-June 2021. Air Vanuatu, one of the state-owned enterprises (SOEs), is in the process of being restructured.
International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
Four years after Cyclone Pam struck Vanuatu causing extensive damages, reconstruction is near completion with full recovery in sight. The authorities are now focused on implementing their broader development plans that were slowed by the rebuilding process, which will require fiscal discipline and reforms to maintain debt sustainability. The authorities should continue their constructive engagement with development partners for technical assistance, capacity development, and concessional and grant-based funding. In parallel continuing to reform and strengthen the governance of institutions and removing vulnerabilities to corruption will be important.
International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
Three years after Cyclone Pam struck Vanuatu causing extensive damages, reconstruction efforts are near completion with full recovery in sight. However, capacity constraints and coordination issues have hampered the use of committed funds by donors and development partners, thereby slowing down recovery. Meanwhile, the government’s ambitious development agenda is making good progress with several major infrastructure projects completed or projected to be completed in the next year.
International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept

Eighteen months after Cyclone Pam struck Vanuatu, the economy continues to recover from the cyclone's extensive damages. Reconstruction efforts are beginning to yield positive results, allowing increasing use of Port Vila's international airport, the reopening of damaged hotels, and the return of tourists to the islands. These encouraging developments augur well for a full recovery in the near future.

International Monetary Fund
Small developing states are disproportionately vulnerable to natural disasters. On average, the annual cost of disasters for small states is nearly 2 percent of GDP—more than four times that for larger countries. This reflects a higher frequency of disasters, adjusted for land area, as well as greater vulnerability to severe disasters. About 9 percent of disasters in small states involve damage of more than 30 percent of GDP, compared to less than 1 percent for larger states. Greater exposure to disasters has important macroeconomic effects on small states, resulting in lower investment, lower GDP per capita, higher poverty, and a more volatile revenue base.
International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
This 2015 Article IV Consultation highlights that Vanuatu’s Real GDP is expected to decline by 2 percent in 2015 because of the cyclone damage to Vanuatu’s main export sectors—tourism and agriculture—which will be only partially offset by reconstruction activities and infrastructure investment. Risks to the outlook are biased to the downside since reconstruction may be constrained by availability of funding and by implementation capacity. Public sector recovery needs are estimated at about 20 percent of GDP. In 2016, a recovery in tourism and agriculture combined with further ramping-up of infrastructure projects is expected to propel growth to 5 percent.
Regional Office for the Asia and the Pacific
Vanuatu has a comparatively favorable economy and cautious macroeconomic policies that have helped maintain stability and confidence. Financial sector policies also have been appropriately cautious. The economy must maintain low debt in the longer term, but as funding is needed for infrastructure, maintenance, and social services, new revenue measures have to be identified. This revenue could help strengthen the state while maintaining growth potential, especially in the tourism and agricultural sectors. The financing options for new large infrastructure projects have to be assessed.