OIA, ADB Team Up to Support FSM Compact Transition
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT:
Keith Parsky 202-208-4070
(November 6, 2003) Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Interior David B. Cohen today signed a $333,000 technical assistance grant as part of a joint project with the Asian Development Bank to help the FSM adjust to the terms of the new financing package under the amended Compact of Free Association. The grant comes on the heels of a grant-signing ceremony October 23 in Honolulu, where Cohen and FSM Ambassador to the US Jesse Marehalau executed $76.2 million in Compact grants for the FSM for fiscal year 2004.
"Today's grant is a continuation of our longstanding partnership with the Asian Development Bank to help the freely associated states develop their institutions," said Cohen. "The new Compact will provide much opportunity for the Department of the Interior, particularly the Office of Insular Affairs, to team up with the Asian Development Bank. We look forward to strengthening that relationship."
The ADB will be providing most of the resources-$500,000-and the manpower for the FSM's Compact transition grant. The grant will finance the development of a five-year transition plan for the FSM to adjust its fiscal policy, including its taxation policies, to function optimally with the aid program under the amended Compact. The grant will also support the development of a roadmap for the FSM to build the capacity to properly comply with the accountability procedures and other requirements of the new Compact.
Cohen said that the US contribution to future capacity development efforts in the FSM will likely come through Compact funds, rather than from the Office of Insular Affairs' technical assistance budget. "The public sector capacity development grant under the Compact is designed for this type of project," said Cohen. "However, this latest grant is the final phase of a long-term project in which we have contributed our technical assistance funds to support the Asian Development Bank's efforts in Micronesia. It's important to finish what we started."