The Federated States of Micronesia is doing its share of helping the CNMI with its rebuilding and recovery efforts.
FSM Consul General Teresea M. Felepin turned over a $100,000 check to Gov. Ralph DLG Torres, who is fresh from winning a bitter election last Tuesday. Honorary FSM consul for the CNMI Diego T. Benavente and Rep. Ivan A. Blanco (R-Saipan) was present to welcome Felepin.
This was Felepin’s second visit to Saipan, the first during the commissioning of Benavente as FSM’s honorary consul for the CNMI.
Torres thanked FSM for the donation. “There are a lot of good folks here who call these islands home, and we thank them for weathering the storm with us and building a stronger CNMI. We are really blessed with our entire community and I am happy to say that many are productive members of this Commonwealth.”
Some 3,000 FSM citizens live in the CNMI.
“With the FSM government’s partnership, we are humbled to receive this $100,000 donation for the FSM community. I thank Consul General Felepin who presented this token of appreciation and donation to the Commonwealth for its partnership with the FSM community.”
Benavente said many homes of FSM citizens in the CNMI suffered major damage or were totally destroyed and lost their property. FSM’s Congress would soon hold a special session to appropriate additional funding to donate to the CNMI.
Felepin recalled her previous experience when Typhoon Maysak devastated Yap where the community had to be housed in the few concrete structures on the island and be tied to one another. She said that even a steel container filled with school supplies was blown away but no one in their community was hurt.
Torres said they would make sure the FSM community in the CNMI would receive the money. “We want to distribute this equally and see that it directly benefits the FSM community and their families. I truly appreciate this partnership as we work to assist all our citizens with food, water and shelter.”
“To all our Yap, Kosrae, Chuuk and Pohnpei families, friends, and neighbors, we are looking at staging areas to begin distribution of additional supplies and donations. Every penny will go a long way and if there is any one goal for the next four years, it would be to continue fostering and building stronger relationships. We will continue working together and close these gaps.”
He added: “I echo Consul General Teresa’s sentiments that our people and cultures are so similar, and so resilient, and no matter our political affiliations and status, we will always be one Micronesia.”
Super Typhoon Yutu hit Saipan and Tinian last month.
Blanco said Felepin’s visit to Saipan is intended to follow up on the status of the CNMI’s recovery efforts and to also check on FSM citizens affected by Yutu. He joined Torres, Benavente, and the entire CNMI in thanking the FSM leadership for its support.
“These funds will go along way to aid our residents and fill gaps for those who are not qualified for certain FEMA assistance due to their citizenship. I thank [FSM President Peter M. Christian], Speaker Wesley Simina, members of the FSM Congress, Consul General Felepin for this generous support in our time of need,” said Blanco.