The Pacific Island nations are rich in culture, history and biodiversity. More than 1,000 languages are spoken and national populations range from less than 10,000 to more than 6 million. The region contains some of the most biodiverse marine ecosystems in the world, supporting valuable fisheries that are critical to local livelihoods and global supply.
USAID assistance in the Pacific Islands region covers 12 nations: Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Republic of Marshall Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.
USAID supports programs that mitigate the negative impacts of global climate change and environmental degradation; help the government in Papua New Guinea expand HIV prevention, care and treatment models; train political parties in formu-lating issue-based platforms, developing their constituencies and improving campaign finance transparency; and provide disaster mitigation, relief and reconstruction in the Republic of Marshall Islands and Federated States of Micronesia.
Environment and Global Climate Change
USAID supports activities that increase the resilience of Pacific Island people, their communities and livelihoods through investments and adaptation assistance. USAID increases the capacity of communities, civil society, governments and re-gional institutions to address the negative effects of global climate change. USAID is building the resiliency of more than 120 coastal communities across the Pacific to cope with more intense and frequent weather events and ecosystem degra-dation in the short term, and sea-level rise in the long term. Assistance strengthens the technical and scientific capacity of local universities and public institutions to measure changes in greenhouse gas emissions and foster sustainable forest man-agement and rehabilitation. USAID also has the lead responsibility for disaster mitigation, relief and reconstruction in the Federated States of Micronesia and the Republic of Marshall Islands under the Compact of Free Association, and supports their ability to anticipate and mitigate the effects of natural disasters.
USAID is engaged in a number of partnerships, including with the U.S. Peace Corps, the Secretariat of the Pacific Commu-nity, the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Program and New Zealand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, to ensure the effectiveness of development programs and increase the reach of USAID’s assistance across the region.
Papua New Guinea suffers from the highest rate of HIV/AIDS in the Pacific Islands region. While overall adult prevalence is at nearly 1 percent, HIV infection rates are much higher among most at-risk populations. Prevalence among female sex workers is 5.9 percent and 4.3 percent among males who have sex with males. In partnership with the National Depart-ment of Health, USAID helps address Papua New Guinea’s HIV/AIDS epidemic by supporting a well-coordinated network that links prevention, care, support and treatment services for people vulnerable to, living with and affected by HIV/AIDS. USAID developed and initially implemented this model in Papua New Guinea; it is now a model of excellence for HIV ef-forts in the country. USAID continues to build on this successful model, working to provide HIV/AIDS services to 12,500 most at-risk people over the next five years as well as referrals to support services for those affected by gender-based vio-lence, a key factor in the spread of HIV infection in Papua New Guinea. USAID also provides assistance on neglected trop-ical diseases.
Democracy, Human Rights and Governance
USAID strengthens democratic institutions in Papua New Guinea and Fiji by helping develop the capacity of political parties to formulate issue-based platforms, reach out to their constituents and improve transparency. In Papua New Guinea, USAID builds the capacity of women’s organizations to address major social issues, including violence and conflict.
Last updated: June 20, 2014