Interior Announces $7M in Compact Funds Available to FSM for COVID-19 Quarantine and Outreach Needs

124

U.S. Department of the Interior Assistant Secretary Insular and International Affairs, Douglas W. Domenech today applauded the Joint Economic Management Committee (JEMCO) for its quick review and decision to allocate up to $7,000,000 from prior-year unexpended Compact of Free Association (Compact) funding to provide emergency support to the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) to address coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) health-related needs.

The 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.

“I am pleased that the JEMCO moved decisively to approve these Compact funds to address COVID-19 health-related needs for the FSM during this global pandemic,” said Assistant Secretary 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 towards building quarantine facilities, equipment, personnel, and general operations in support of COVID-19 response.
  • Chuuk State – $1,403,800 to be used towards personnel, inter-island travel, and general operations in support of COVID-19 response.
  • Kosrae State – $1,205,922 to be used towards the temporary construction of twenty-four COVID-19 quarantine isolation rooms.
  • Pohnpei State – pending submittal.

Today’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 this page: 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.