Delivering emergency and reconstruction assistance in Federated States of Micronesia and the Republic of the Marshall Islands is challenging because the geographical location is a natural obstacle for easy access of humanitarian aid; lack of logistics for transportation and communication support services; presence of few non-governmental organizations that could provide disaster assistance services; and weak disaster management capacity of host governments and local disaster responders. These two island countries continue to experience a wide range of hazards, including cyclones, floods, drought, earthquakes and tsunamis. Poverty and climate change are also increasing the vulnerabilities of these countries.
On November 4, 2008, the U.S. Congress transferred responsibility for U.S. disaster assistance in the Federated States of Micronesia and the Republic of the Marshall Islands from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to USAID. To fulfill U.S. Government commitments as outlined in the Compacts of Free Association with the Federated States of Micronesia and the Republic of the Marshall Islands, USAID and FEMA developed a joint Operational Blueprint for Disaster Mitigation, Relief and Reconstruction for the two countries for 2008–2023 to ensure that the U.S. Government is able to fulfill its responsibilities under the Compacts.
USAID will continue to strengthen the ability of local organizations and the governments of the Federated States of Micronesia and the Republic of the Marshall Islands in all areas, from the response phase through reconstruction. Our assistance will increase the countries’ abilities to mobilize their own technical and indigenous resources to prepare for, respond to and mitigate the effects of disasters. We also will assist the countries in mainstreaming disaster risk reduction in their state- and national-level policies and action plans to better respond to the adverse impacts of climate change, as well as to the increasing exposure to natural hazards. Strengthening institutions and supporting host country ownership are both critically important for sustainability as the U.S. Government plans for the transition of these responsibilities to the Federated States of Micronesia and the Republic of the Marshall Islands in 2023.
Last updated: October 28, 2013