The Public Relations Officer (PRO) for the Prime Minister’s Office commented this week stating that Vanuatu needs to assist its citizens in Afghanistan.

These are naturalized citizens who forked out USD$130, 000 for a passport.

The comment by the PRO to help citizens over 11000KM and possibly 10 different country codes away reminds me of an old saying that goes like this, ‘Jerusalem comes first’ or the more popular version – ‘clean up your own backyard’ before you go worrying about what’s happening in Afghanistan.

This term ‘assistance’ seems almost foreign in Vanuatu.

The reason I say this is because, there has hardly been a time where we the people of this country feel like we were being assisted.

The VT1.1 billion for the Rural Development Bank hasn’t gone through yet, the VT900 million for the Small Businesses hasn’t been paid yet and the VT50 million to Vanuatu Christian Council (VCC) hasn’t been paid either.

These are the three big ones and of course there are others.

Just recently UNELCO announced they will be increasing this month’s electricity prices by 1.3% with a long justification on how these fluctuations are out of their control, SHEFA Provincial Council is printing National IDs for VT1500 when Civil Status use to print it for free and if someone request the state flag for a funeral, the normal price of VT50 000 has doubled to VT100 000 depending on your annual salary.

Last I checked we are still living in a lockdown with an extended state of emergency by the Prime Minster, so where is the civic responsibility by these institutions to the people?

Which is why it is so rich to hear that the government will go above and beyond to help the Afghanistan/Vanuatu citizens.

I do hope they get the help they deserve; I also hope when the government is done with Afghanistan, they are able to Vanuatu as well, or do our plights need to reach international news status before that happens?

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