Welcome to Vanuatu
Vanuatu , officially the Republic of Vanuatu (French: République de Vanuatu, Bislama: Ripablik blong Vanuatu), is an island nation located in the South Pacific Ocean. The archipelago, which is of volcanic origin, is some 1,750 kilometres (1,090 mi) east of northern Australia, 500 kilometres (310 mi) northeast of New Caledonia, west of Fiji, and southeast of the Solomon Islands, near New Guinea.
Vanuatu was first inhabited by Melanesian people. The first Europeans to visit the islands were the members of a Spanish expedition led by Portuguese navigator Fernandes de Queirós, who arrived in Espiritu Santo in 1605; he claimed the archipelago for Spain and named it Espiritu Santo or Holy Spirit. In the 1880s France and the United Kingdom claimed parts of the country, and in 1906 they agreed on a framework for jointly managing the archipelago as the New Hebrides through a British–French Condominium. An independence movement arose in the 1970s, and the Republic of Vanuatu was founded in 1980.
The nation's name was derived from the word vanua ("land" or "home"), which occurs in several Austronesian languages, and the word tu ("stand") Together the two words indicated the independent status of the new nation.
Vanuatu has a tropical climate and over 80% of the population lives in rural, isolated villages with access to their own gardens and food supplies. These geographically isolated communities have minimal access to basic health and education services. Churches and non-government organizations provide a minimal level of support to many rural villages. Vanuatu government health and education services are hard pressed to deal with the rapid increase of urban and peri-urban populations in informal and squatter settlements around Port Vila and to a lesser extent in Luganville. Health services in Port Vila and Luganville provide reasonable health care, often supported and enhanced by visiting doctors.
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