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U.S. Department of the Interior - Office of Insular Affairs
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CNMI Receives over $5 Million from Office of Insular Affairs for Compact Impact



(WASHINGTON, D.C., February 28, 2005) The Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) will receive a grant in the amount of $5,171,914 from the Department of the Interior's Office of Insular Affairs to reimburse the islands for the social costs of migration from the Federated States of Micronesia, Palau and the Marshall Islands.

"These funds will help the CNMI to offset the costs that it has incurred to provide health care, education and other social services to those who are permitted to migrate to the CNMI under the Compacts of Free Association," said Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Interior David B. Cohen. "The funds can be used for most public services that have been impacted by the need to serve migrants, and can be used for infrastructure as well. We've been working with Governor Babauta and Resident Representative Pete A Tenorio on planned improvements to infrastructure, and we know these funds will greatly assist in implementing those plans."

The Compact legislation provides that $30 million will be divided each year for 20 years among the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, Hawaii and American Samoa to help those jurisdictions deal with the effects of migration from the freely associated states—the Federated States of Micronesia, Palau and the Marshall Islands.

The funds are to be divided proportionally among the jurisdictions on the basis of the number of people in each jurisdiction who migrated from the freely associated states after 1986, when the original Compacts went into effect. Minor children of such migrants are also counted