USAID/OFDA Program Summary: Federated States of Micronesia and Republic of the Marshall Islands
In November 2008, USAID assumed responsibility for disaster response and reconstruction in the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) and the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) from the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), reflecting the transition of FSM and RMI from U.S.-administered trust territories to independent countries. USAID and FEMA developed an Operational Blueprint to provide a framework for U.S. Government (USG) disaster response and reconstruction in the two nations, under which USAID maintains FEMA’s previous commitment to supplementing host government efforts as necessary to provide humanitarian assistance in the aftermath of significant disasters. USAID’s Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA) collaborates closely with FEMA, as well as with USAID/Philippines and USAID’s Asia Bureau, to implement programs in FSM and RMI.
An important pillar of USAID’s disaster mitigation, relief, and reconstruction program is a cooperative agreement between USAID and its primary relief and reconstruction partner in the two countries, the International Organization for Migration (IOM), which maintains offices in Pohnpei and Yap states, FSM, and Majuro, RMI. USAID also maintains a full-time presence in FSM and RMI through a Disaster Assistance Coordinator (DAC). Located in Majuro, RMI, and working as a part of the U.S. Embassy country teams in FSM and RMI, the DAC serves as a liaison with host governments and coordinates USG relief activities in FSM and RMI. USAID recently established a Reconstruction Assistance Coordinator position based out of USAID/Philippines, which will help USAID fulfill the reconstruction aspect of its mandate as specified in the Operational Blueprint.