WASHINGTON, D.C.—The U.S. Department of the Interior announced Friday the release of Compact of Free Association financial assistance to the Federated States of Micronesia. These emergency funds will help support and strengthen hospital and quarantine infrastructure in Chuuk State as the FSM works to contain the spread and impacts of the global coronavirus pandemic.
“We have redirected $416,918 in prior-year Compact Infrastructure Maintenance Fund assistance to strengthen FSM’s efforts in preparing for this global pandemic,” said Insular and International Affairs assistant secretary Douglas W. Domenech. “At the direction of Interior Secretary David Bernhardt, we are moving quickly and decisively to support the FSM, which is critical in these difficult times.”
“The U.S. and the FSM members of the Joint Economic Management Committee are in favor of this decision to direct Compact funds toward COVID-19 infrastructure maintenance,” said JEMCO chair and Office of Insular Affairs director Nikolao Pula. “We applaud officials, health care workers, and all at the national and state levels as they work to protect lives in the FSM.”
“The United States and the FSM share a special and unique relationship,” said U.S. Ambassador to the FSM Carmen G. Cantor. “The United States government is committed to working with the FSM to advance their response capabilities to this global pandemic.”
Additional Compact funding requests are being prepared for review by the Office of Insular Affairs as the FSM finalizes its COVID-19 Preparation and Response Plan. The plan will then be submitted to the U.S. government to ensure coordination of efforts. (PR)