The Department of the Interior's Assistant Secretary for Insular Areas, Tony Babauta, has authorized two Technical Assistance grants for the Republic of the Marshall Islands: 1) $385,000 to the College of the Marshall Islands for a new Student Information System; and 2) $20,000 to create a partnership between the RMI and the Flying Doctors of America.
“I am pleased to be working closely with President Loeak and his new administration, identifying service gaps which will improve capacity for youth and increase the delivery of healthcare,” said Babauta. “The U.S. government continues to have serious dialogue with Pacific leaders to focus on our efforts in creating partnerships and supporting initiatives which will help spur development, create opportunity, and build capacity in the Freely Associated States.
Funding for the College of the Marshall Islands will support its acquisition of a new Student Information System. The new system will allow the college, as well as its stakeholders, to better understand the effectiveness of their programs and be able to measure student success and weakness. It will also provide the college an internal tool to measure its own efficiency as an organization, which will help guide its leadership's decision making, ensuring that all their work is focused on improving student performance and maintaining accreditation.
Funding to support a new partnership between the Marshall Islands and the Flying Doctors is an initiative strongly supported by President Loeak. This partnership is a unique opportunity to leverage scarce resources by coordinating healthcare professional expertise and initiating an exchange between the Marshall Islands and Flying Doctors that works to improve the quality of medical care provided to residents.
In March, Babauta convened a Pacific Island Leaders Addressing Compact Impact meeting; bringing together members of the Micronesian chief executives, the State of Hawaii, congressional representatives of Guam and the CNMI, as well as U.S Federal Interagency Government counterparts from the Department of State. The meeting focused on Compact impact and ways to support meaningful outcomes in both the FAS and affected jurisdictions. The award of these grants provide needed resources to improve health and education capacity in the RMI. Such action advances OIA's Compact Impact Initiative that serves to strengthen bilateral relationships and forge a collaborative way forward to address priority needs.