For Immediate Release

Office of Press Relations


The below is attributable to Spokesperson Jessica Jennings:‎

Today, Administrator Samantha Power began her trip to Fiji in Suva, with a traditional welcome ceremony, a sevusevu, where she was greeted by Assistant Minister for Foreign Affairs Lenora Qereqeretabua. The Administrator thanked the Government of Fiji for the warm welcome and highlighted the longstanding, historic relationship between the United States and Fiji. 

Administrator Power then met with Deputy Prime Minister Hon. Manoa Kamikamica. The Administrator recognized Fiji as a leader in advancing democratic governance and economic growth in the Pacific Islands region and expressed her appreciation for Fiji’s commitment for strengthened partnership with the United States.

Next, the Administrator officially opened the USAID/Pacific Islands Mission and swore in its new Mission Director Zema Semunegus. At the ceremony, Administrator Power underscored that the new Mission will allow USAID to better listen, partner, and help deliver concrete benefits for communities in the Pacific Islands together. 

Administrator Samantha Power Visits Suva, Fiji

In the afternoon, Administrator Power met with USAID’s local staff in Suva. She listened to their views on how USAID programs have positively impacted their communities, and how the unique insights of local staff can be harnessed as USAID elevates its presence in the region. 

Administrator Power then gave a keynote address at the University of the South Pacific, whose campuses across the region USAID helped connect via satellites in the 1990s. She stressed the U.S. Government’s partnership model of respecting the independence of Pacific Island nations, listening to their priorities and goals, and offering options to support their work to build sustainable, inclusive development. She also highlighted opportunities to partner on climate change, health, and economic growth. The Administrator also announced new investments for the Pacific Islands, including launching a new blue carbon assessment analysis and additional initiatives in global health security.  

Administrator Power then returned to the U.S. Embassy, where she held a town hall and thanked U.S. Embassy Suva staff for their commitment to the United States’ work to advance a more democratic, prosperous, and resilient Blue Pacific. 

Following this engagement, Administrator Power met with PIF Secretary General Henry Puna to underscore USAID’s commitment to supporting the Pacific-led Council of Regional Organisations in the Pacific, whose membership includes the PIF, USP, and the Pacific Community. The two discussed regional priorities related to climate, humanitarian assistance, gender equality, and economic growth. 

The Administrator concluded her day in Suva, Fiji with a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka, where they spoke about the commitment to deepening democracy in Fiji and to championing regional cooperation. They discussed plans for the U.S.-Pacific Islands Country Summit in Washington this fall, Fiji’s upcoming municipal elections, and the dangers posed by extreme weather events driven by climate warming. Administrator Power thanked Prime Minister Rabuka for his commitment to a strengthened partnership with the United States.


Administrator Power travels to Papua New Guinea and Fiji


In August, Administrator Samantha Power will travel to Papua New Guinea and Fiji to emphasize the U.S. government's commitment to the region and highlight USAID's efforts in the Pacific Islands to make an enduring, positive impact across the diverse countries where USAID works. 

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