$4.2 million initially approved for Yap, Chuuk, and Kosrae states
WASHINGTON, D.C.—The Joint Economic Management Committee has decided to allocate up to $7,000,000 from prior-year unexpended Compact of Free Association funding to provide emergency support to the Federated States of Micronesia to address COVID-19 health-related needs.
JEMCO approved the Compact allocation in connection with the FSM government’s COVID-19 Response Framework and Budget. Funds provided to Yap, Chuuk, and Kosrae States will be used to strengthen hospital and quarantine infrastructure and support outreach by health personnel to the outer islands of Yap and Chuuk during this global COVID-19 pandemic.
U.S. Department of the Interior Assistant Secretary Insular and International Affairs, Douglas W. Domenech lauded JEMCO’s quick review and decision. “I am pleased that the JEMCO moved decisively to approve these Compact funds,” said Domenech. “The FSM is among the few remaining countries in the world yet to report any positive COVID-19 cases; however, their health infrastructure and small populations face the serious risk of being completely overwhelmed without necessary preparations. This funding will help the FSM be as prepared as possible during this unprecedented time.”
“The United States is a proud partner and ally of the FSM and this important partnership is embodied in the JEMCO through the collaborative efforts and work of its members and staff” said Interior Department Office of Insular Affairs director Nikolao Pula, who is the JEMCO chairman. “I have instructed the Office of Insular Affairs team that manages these funds to ensure they are disbursed to the FSM quickly for the benefit of the people of Yap, Chuuk, and Kosrae.”
“The United States government, through the Department of the Interior, is proud to commit another $4.2 million to assist the Federated States of Micronesia in its COVID-19 response efforts,” said U.S. Ambassador to the FSM Carmen G. Cantor.
The allocation of Compact Sector grant funds for the FSM will be divided as follows:
Yap State: $1,650,000 to be used to build quarantine facilities, equipment, personnel, and general operations in support of COVID-19 response.
Chuuk State: $1,403,800 to be used for personnel, interisland travel, and general operations in support of COVID-19 response.
Kosrae State: $1,205,922 to be used for the temporary construction of 24 COVID-19 quarantine isolation rooms.
Pohnpei State: pending submittal
Yesterday’s announcement supplements the $416,918 in infrastructure maintenance funds previously approved and announced on April 3, 2020, that will go toward repair of COVID-19 quarantine facilities in Chuuk State.
For more information about the JEMCO and their responsibilities under the Compacts of Free Association, visit https://www.doi.gov/oia/compacts-of-free-association. For more information about the work of the Office of Insular Affairs, visit http://www.doi.gov/oia or follow on Twitter @ASIIADomenech. (PR)