SAIPAN (PACIFIC ISLAND TIMES) — The bilateral Joint Economic Management Committee (JEMCO) has approved a total of $95 million in fiscal 2022 Compact funding for the Federated States of Micronesia and Marshall Islands, the U.S Department of Interior (DOI) announced today.

The FSM will receive $61 million, while the Marshall Islands will get $34 million in grants approved by their respective bilateral committees earlier this year.

The Compact grants are earmarked for education and health care projects in the FSM and Marshall Islands. 

The grants are part of the United States; commitment under the Compacts of Free Association in exchange for its rights to use air, water and lands in FSM and Marshall Islands. Citizens from Compact nations, which also include Palau, are authorised to enter visa-free and work in the U.S. 

In addition to the $61 million grant for FSM, JEMCO also approved 

$17.6 million for infrastructure projects – to design and build schools, health centres and sporting facilities in Chuuk and Yap.

For Marshall Islands, the bilateral Joint Economic Management and Financial Accountability Committee also authorised the use of Infrastructure Sector assistance for preliminary engineering, design, and development of a Project Development Plan for the Roi-Namur to Santo Electric Distribution System Project on Kwajalein Atoll. 

Certain financial provisions of the current Compact of Free Association agreement between the RMI and the United States are set to expire in 2023. Bilateral discussions that began in the last administration are continuing in the Biden-Harris administration.  

The U.S provides FSM and Marshall Islands a total of $3.6 billion in economic assistance in fiscal years 2004 through 2023 and access to several U.S programmes and services.

The Compacts of Free Association have governed the political, economic, and military relationships between the United States and the Freely Associated States (FAS) since 1986… PACNEWS

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