OIA announces $1.8M for Marshall Islands healthcare program



WASHINGTON, D.C.—The U.S. Department of the Interior’s Office of Insular Affairs has announced $1,876,297 in fiscal year 2022 Technical Assistance Program funding to the Republic of the Marshall Islands’ Ministry of Health and Human Services for the Four Atoll Healthcare Program. The program provides primary healthcare services for communities from the four nuclear-affected atolls of Bikini, Enewetak, Rongelap, and Utrok in the Marshall Islands. 

“This funding provides important preventive and screening healthcare services support each year to the peoples of four atolls in the Marshall Islands that were affected by the U.S. nuclear testing program from 1946 to 1958. We are pleased to announce that this year’s funding includes the addition of vital dental services in these communities,” said deputy assistant secretary for Insular and International Affairs Keone Nakoa. “OIA provides this continued support on behalf of the U.S. government as part of our ongoing partnership with the people of the Marshall Islands.”

The fiscal year 2022 TAP funding provided to the Four Atoll Healthcare Program will support clinics that serve the nuclear-affected communities on Majuro, Mejatto, Kili, Enewetak, and Utrok. For the peoples of Enewetak and Utrok, as well as the dislocated peoples of Bikini and Rongelap, these clinics provide primary and ancillary healthcare services including support for women’s and children wellness, vision, vaccinations, screening for communicable diseases, and education and outreach on non-communicable diseases such as diabetes and hypertension. Funding this year includes an increase to support a dentist and dental equipment.

OIA has provided TAP funding assistance to the Four Atoll Healthcare Program, also referred to as the Section 177 Healthcare Program, every year since 2005. Bikini, Rongelap, Enewetak, and Utrok are the four atolls in the Republic of the Marshall Islands recognized by the United States as impacted by the nuclear weapons testing program. The populations of these atolls, including the still-dislocated populations of Bikini and Rongelap live throughout the Marshall Islands and in the United States.

As authorized and appropriated pursuant to 48 U.S.C. 1469(d), OIA’s Technical Assistance Program has been used to continue funding under the Four Atoll Healthcare Program identified in the Section 177 Agreement under Article II, Section 1 of the Compact of Free Association (P.L. 108-188), that expired after the initial 15-year period under which this program was first funded.

The Assistant Secretary of Insular and International Affairs and the  OIA carry out the Interior secretary’s responsibilities for American Samoa, Guam, the CNMI, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Additionally, OIA administers and oversees federal assistance under the Compacts of Free Association to the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and the Republic of Palau. (PR) 

Press Release
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