FSM government launches $38.5M maritime investment project

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Officials from the FSM government and the World Bank at the meeting officially launching the FSM Maritime investment project. (Photo Credit: FSM Government)

The Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) government officially launched its $38.5 million maritime investment project this month.

The World Bank-funded project seeks to improve the safety, efficiency, and climate resilience of the FSM’s maritime infrastructure.

“Meeting international standards lays the foundation for other major infrastructure and economic development projects, facilitates safe maritime travel between our Nation’s ports, and grants the FSM dignity in an area that has been absent for too long,” said David W. Panuelo, FSM President.

Panuelo added: “The FSM should be the example other nations follow, not the other way around.”

According to the FSM public information office, a project manager has been hired and the FSM National Government has received the expression of interest for a needs assessment for the main ports in each of the FSM’s States to enable the ports to meet minimal international standards.

“We can expect that, with our current schedule,” said Dickson Wichep, Acting Secretary of the Department of Transportation, Communication, & Infrastructure (DTC&I, “We can have minor works started by the end of the last quarter of 2020…and more significant works commencing by mid-2021.”

Almud Weitz, World Bank’s Practice Manager for Transport in Southeast Asia and the Pacific, described World Bank’s commitment to the project.

“This is a mix of looking at safety, [and] improving climate resilience…across all four states,” Ms. Weitz said. “We’re very happy to be able to together with the [FSM]…it’ll be a mix of hard infrastructure investment, and quite a bit of technical assistance and capacity building…[including] activities taken jointly with the [United States, Japan, and Australian] embassies and their programs on security, search and rescue, as well as looking at elevating awareness and prevention on human trafficking and gender-based violence.”