Typhoon Assistance to Micronesia Tops US$10 Million
Over US$10 million – the lion’s share from USAID - has been allocated to support some of the most remote and delicate communities on the planet, in the far-flung Federated States of Micronesia (FSM.)
Typhoon Maysak hit the northern Pacific earlier this year, causing millions of dollars in damage and claiming four lives.
As USAID’s primary implementing partner, IOM has delivered emergency food, water, sanitation equipment and shelter materials to the worst-affected areas, and is now embarking on an ambitious reconstruction plan.
Other contributions from the governments of Australia, New Zealand and Japan, have also allowed practical assistance and technical help to reach these critically isolated communities. The USAID funding will enable IOM to rebuild and repair over 600 homes and at least 100 key infrastructure projects such as schools and clinics in the affected communities over the next 18 months.
IOM is also providing USAID-funded tents to ensure that the disaster doesn’t interrupt the education of children in remote outer islands, while their schools are reconstructed.
In tandem with these recovery-focused activities, IOM will work with affected populations to develop community-led disaster preparedness plans that reflect their experiences during the storm – thereby increasing their resilience and safety before the next disaster. “While the death toll in Maysak was not sufficiently serious to garner major media attention, the ferocity of the storm serves as a strong reminder that weather patterns are changing and becoming more violent,” said IOM’s Chief of Mission in the FSM, Stuart Simpson.
Dr Muhammad Khan, USAID Team Leader for Pacific Projects, noted that IOM and the US Government have a fruitful history of collaboration on disaster response and mitigation in the Pacific region, having successfully worked to relieve the worst effects of a drought in the neighbouring Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI).
“We are greatly concerned about the effect that more frequent and intense disasters are having on these fragile ecosystems,” he said. “Decades of development can be wiped out in a few hours. Emergency aid, backed up by locally driven mitigation programmes are the right way to go, and we are pleased to be able to call on IOM to work with us on improving life for these unique and endangered communities.”