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Vanuatu is an island national located in the South Pacific Ocean, east of northern Australia, northeast of New Caledonia, west of Fiji, and south of the Solomon Islands. Vanuatu is an archipelago of 83 islands, two of which are claimed by the French overseas department of New Caledonia. A majority of the islands have a mountainous terrain, are of volcanic origin and have a tropical or subtropical climate. There are several active volcanoes many of which are underwater ones, which presents an ever present danger of a major eruption.
Vanuatu has a parliamentary democracy political system, headed by a President who has ceremonial powers and is elected to a five year term by an electoral college. The electoral college is made up of members of Parliament and the Presidents of Regional Councils. The Prime Minister is head of government and appoints the Council of Ministers. The executive government consists of the prime minister and Council of Ministers. The Parliament is unicameral and has 52 members, elected by popular vote every four years. The Supreme Court consists of a chief justice and usually three other judges, two of these members constitute a Court of Appeal.
The Vanuatu culture has local regional variations and is divided into three regions: the north, wealth and how much one can give away, the center, more traditional Melanesian cultural systems, and the south, a system involving grants of title with associated privileges. There are three official languages in Vanuatu: English, French and Bislama. Bislama combines a typically Melanesian grammar with a mostly English vocabulary and is a pidgin language. Christianity is the predominant religion, with several denominations.

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» May-Term 2022

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Quick Facts

Population: 227,574
Capital: Port-Vila (on Efate)
Per-capita GDP: $ 5000
Size: 12,189 km2
Time Zone: (GMT + 11:00 hours) Magadan

US State Department

Travel Warning: YES
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Country Specific Info.

Country information is adapted from public domain resources including the CIA World Fact Book and
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Presbyterian College Office of International Programs