A total of 474 women operating Vt20 food sales have been blessed with the payment of their food and safety certificate fees by the Member of Parliament for Port Vila and Minister for Foreign Affairs, Ralph Regenvanu.

The idea was brought to the attention of MP Regenvanu by his party’s executive for the Northern Ward of Port Vila.

Most of the women Regenvanu is assisting have never taken a food health and safety training course before, so by achieving this certification they will have created for themselves a new livelihood to sustain themselves, their families and their communities.

Vt20 food sale is common and more women are getting involved in it in all wards of Port Vila. It is often the main source of income for the families of the women involved.

The support from MP Regenvanu has also touched the women at the local restaurant in the main market of Port Vila who already have certificates but need them renewed. 42 women from the local restaurant in the market have been issued with their new food and safety certificate this week settled by MP Regenvanu.

“I know you are all going through big changes here at the market and it is my wish that when we launch the new refurbished area for the local restaurant, you will all be satisfied and make good earnings from your business” explained Regenvanu.

“I am delighted to pay for the renewal of your food safety certificate because I know that by spending only Vt3000 for each one of you that investment will be returned and multiplied many times over by the amount you earn by working hard over the 2 years’ validity period of the certificate.

“As taxpayers, you contribute to pay my Parliamentary allocation so it is normal that a portion of that allocation returns to each one of you to help you continue with your livelihoods.”

On behalf of the association of the local restaurant at the market house, Vice Chairlady, Leiriki Malsungai, expressed their gratitude this week to MP Regenvanu for the significant approach and affirmed that no MPs or Minister has ever helped the women at the local restaurant to that extent.