Tanya Harris Joshua 202-208-6008
WASHINGTON – Doug Domenech, U.S. Department of the Interior Assistant Secretary, Insular and International Affairs, this week announced $517,014 total in FY 2019 funding to support the Mañe’lu Micronesian Resource Center (MRC) One-Stop Shop on Guam and the We are Oceania (WAO) Hālau Ola One-Stop Center in Hawai’i. The two non-profit organizations provide new-migrant orientation, family support services, and workforce development programs to individuals from the freely associated states (FAS) of the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI), and the Republic of Palau who may travel to the United States to live and work as provided for under the Compacts of Free Association.
“Guam and Hawai‘i have been the U.S. communities most impacted by FAS migrants under the Compacts of Free Association,” said Assistant Secretary Domenech. “Mañe’lu and We are Oceania help FAS families who have traveled to the U.S. under the Compacts to become part of their respective communities,” continued Domenech. “Building stronger individuals and families in these communities is important for the success of the FAS and the territories alike.”
Funding for these initiatives is provided through the Office of Insular Affairs’ Technical Assistance Program. As a result, of migration under the Compacts of Free Association, Guam and Hawai‘i have experienced increased impact and demands placed on public services such as health, education, and public safety. According to a 2013 Census enumeration, 14,700 FAS migrants live in Hawai‘i and 17,170 live on Guam. A new Census enumeration will be released in 2019.
The Assistant Secretary, Insular and International Affairs, and the Office of Insular Affairs (OIA) carry out the Secretary of the Interior’s responsibilities for the U.S. territories of American Samoa, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Additionally, OIA administers and oversees federal assistance under the Compacts of Free Association to the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and the Republic of Palau.