The $890M from the Compact Review, if passed by the US Congress, is strictly financial assistance, confirmed President Surangel Whipps Jr. at the press conference this week.
This amount, said Whipps, includes allocations to the Trust Fund, maintenance, infrastructure, debt relief, and government operations each year for the next 20 years. The updated Funds Availability Analysis (FAA) for FY 2023 Supplemental Budget shows a $35M Compact Review Agreement (CRA) Direct Assistance Package as a source of financing. The FAA includes a disclaimer that the CRA funds are still subjected to US Congress approval.
In addition to the $890M, Palau will retain the US federal programs it is already receiving, plus additional ones if the ongoing negotiations fall through.
According to Whipps, Palau will also continue to get the annual $15M drawdown from the Compact. “We can say this will double what we are getting today,” Whipps added.
Under the new CRA, Whipps said they requested financial assistance a year in advance. Therefore, if US Congress passed Biden’s budget without changes to the Compact funding, Palau would be eligible to get $35 million this FY 2023.