Republic of the Marshall Islands
The Republic of the Marshall Islands is an important United States partner in advancing a free and open Indo-Pacific region. Our relationship is based on mutual respect, shared history, and common values of strength through diversity, fairness, and freedom.
The U.S. and the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) have a close and unique relationship underpinned by the Compact of Free Association (COFA) agreement. As the world’s premier development agency, USAID focuses on increasing resilience to natural disasters, climate change impacts, promoting good governance and economic growth, strengthening environmental management, improving health outcomes, and increasing digital connectivity. USAID works closely with Marshallese organizations, multilateral agencies, and the private sector. USAID also works in close coordination with fellow U.S. government agencies at Embassy Majuro, which offer a range of critical public services and assistance for the people of RMI.
ENVIRONMENT AND CLIMATE CHANGE
USAID works with the RMI government to draft and implement policies that achieve climate adaptation goals, access financing from international adaptation funds, update its National Adaptation Plan, and improve fisheries management.
USAID is strengthening the capacity of locally established civil society organizations in the Pacific to address the second order impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. USAID assistance supports communities to increase their resilience to disasters and climate risks, enhance their livelihoods, increase food security, improve access to water, bolster health and education, improve governance, manage natural resources more sustainably, and conserve vital biodiversity.
USAID - along with international partners - is supporting the RMI’s economic growth through technical assistance for the country's program to liberalize and modernize its telecommunications sector. Through this initiative, USAID will increase the RMI’s digital connectivity with faster, more reliable, and secure internet, bringing internet to some remote areas for the first time and providing the entire country with a stronger economic future.
DEMOCRACY AND GOVERNANCE
USAID reinforces good governance by encouraging all Marshallese citizens – including women, youth, and other marginalized groups – to take an active role in democracy and seek accountability from the government, private sector, and their own communities. For example, USAID supports an elections project that is helping the RMI to prepare for national elections through voter registration and education campaigns, automating electoral administration, updating elections laws, and ensuring that the election is free from malign influences.
USAID provides technical assistance that has enabled the RMI to detect and deter trafficking in persons. These efforts have helped RMI achieve Tier 2 status on the U.S. Department of State’s 2022 Trafficking in Persons Report.
USAID collaborates with U.S. government interagency partners to support the RMI’s efforts to improve its legal framework to combat corruption, for example through strengthening procurement laws and tender regulations.
DISASTER PREPAREDNESS AND RESPONSE
USAID supports the RMI’s efforts to strengthen community resilience to climate change-associated threats including natural disasters and rising sea levels. USAID is improving evacuation shelters, training community leaders on shelter management, conducting response exercises, and pre-positioning emergency relief commodities. USAID focuses on youth through community response training, so that they are prepared to identify and address challenges facing their communities.
Because disaster preparedness and response is particularly complex with COVID-19, USAID has provided training and personal protective equipment to frontline health workers.
USAID and multiple U.S. federal agency partners work to improve food security on eight vulnerable “outer island” communities by assisting the Majuro Chamber of Commerce to implement an ambitious agriculture program. This initiative will enhance local food production through school and community gardens and will make available diverse and drought resistant food.
HEALTH & EDUCATION
USAID supports the RMI’s efforts to improve outcomes in the health and education sectors. For example, USAID provided upgrades to the RMI’s health information systems, enabling the Ministry of Health and Human Services to deploy mobile COVID teams that were connected to the nations’ hospitals in real time. USAID funded “vaccine voyages” in which RMI medical teams traveled to widely scattered atolls to administer safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines. USAID assistance has enabled the Red Cross to meet the RMI’s expanding donor blood requirements. In the education area, USAID’s and its local partners are working to address the lack of Marshallese language and context books for early readers. Additionally, USAID and its U.S. government agency partners are assisting the RMI to develop a vocational training center on Ebeye that will meet the labor needs at the U.S. Army base on Kwajalein Atoll.