Where we work


Before Vanuatu graduated from LDC status in 2020, UNCDF worked in the country from 2008, improving governance and service delivery through fiscal decentralization and increased local investment capacity.

UNCDF jointly implemented the Pacific Financial Inclusion Programme (PFIP) with UN Development Programme. The overall objective of the Programme was to increase the number of low-income customers who adopted formal financial services. PFIP covered Vanuatu, Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Samoa and Tonga. The Programme aimed to link one million Pacific Islanders to the formal financial sector by supporting financial service providers to innovate with products and services for mass market customers, supporting governments to create an enabling policy environment for financial innovation, and empowering consumers.

In 2018, the National Bank of Vanuatu (NBV) and PFIP partnered to migrate of close to 30,000 of its rural customers from a legacy paper-based passbook system to electronic and mobile banking. Through an upgraded tablet-based system, NBV was able to open accounts, issue debit cards, subscribe customers to mobile banking and provide real-time services in remote and rural parts of Vanuatu. Expanding on this support, PFIP’s helped advance the digitisation of NBV’s services through the creation of the IsiMobile platform. Another initiative involved working with Vodafone’s M-Vatu International Money Transfer Service. allowing Ni-Vanuatu migrants to easily send money back home where remittances are heavily relied on to finance basic needs.


Our Team

Bram Peters
Programme Manager

Ayham Esmaiel
Country Coordinator