More than a week after Palau President Tommy E. Remengesau, Jr met with U.S. President Donald Trump in Washington DC, the U.S. Department of the Interior, Office of Insular Affairs has announced that the island nation will be receiving $1.2 million in Technical Assistance Program grants.
The FY 2019 grant funding has been allocated to the following agencies and projects:
- Palau Ministry of Justice – $364,174 to Provide Network Integration and Upgrade Data Systems. Funding will be used to develop and install networking software that will extract and share data among the four divisions under Palau’s Ministry of Justice: the Division of Immigration, the Office of Public Safety, the Office of the Attorney General, and the Division of Labor;
- Palau Bureau of Public Health – $240,492 to Perform a Community Health Assessment. The assessment will assist the health department in determining how to prioritize needs, allocate resources, and assist communities in addressing the key social determinants of health that influence choices and behaviors. The last assessment was done in Palau over fifteen years ago.
- Palau Environmental Quality Protection Board – $75,000 to Review and Modernize the Environmental Regulations in Palau. Funds will be used to modernize critical environmental regulations for the government. The three most critical regulations to be updated are: the Marine and Fresh Water Quality Regulations, the Public Water Supply Regulations, and the Environmental Impact Statement Regulations.
- Aids to Navigation Infrastructure – $530,000 will be provided to the U.S. Coast Guard’s 14th District, headquartered in Honolulu, Hawaii, who will work closely with the Government of Palau to provide aids-to-navigation infrastructure improvements in the waters of Koror. These improvements directly support maritime safety and security development for Palau and the Western Pacific region.
Doug Domenech, U.S. Department of the Interior Assistant Secretary, Insular and International Affairs made the announcement in a release.
“Secretary David Bernhardt and I are pleased to provide funding assistance that will help Palau better assess health needs, improve collaboration among law enforcement and public safety divisions, modernize regulations to conserve natural and cultural resources, and strengthen maritime safety and security,” said Domenech.
“These funds that are made available by the U.S. Congress each year for the U.S. territories and freely associated states are critical to strengthening public services in the islands and laying a foundation for better economic development resources and opportunities. This year’s projects are only a small portion of the immensely beneficial relationship that the U.S. and Palau share under the Compact of Free Association,” Domenech added.