The Republic of Palau
Palau 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 Palau 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 climate change impacts, protecting biodiversity, promoting good governance and economic growth, and increasing digital connectivity. USAID works closely with Palauan organizations, multilateral agencies, and the private sector. USAID also works in close coordination with fellow U.S. government agencies at Embassy Koror, which offer a range of critical public services and assistance for the people of Palau.
ENVIRONMENT AND CLIMATE CHANGE
USAID works with the Palau government to draft and implement policies that achieve climate adaptation goals, access financing from international adaptation funds, and improve skills and systems for managing adaptation projects. At the local level, USAID preserves Palau’s rich but threatened biodiversity by supporting local governments, civil society, and communities to reduce key threats to the environment. For example, USAID works with coastal communities to improve the management of their coastal ecosystems and reduce illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing that is degrading the biodiversity and negatively impacting livelihoods and food security in Palau.
USAID - along with international partners - is supporting Palau’s economic growth through technical assistance for the country's second undersea cable spur, which will connect Palau to the world’s longest undersea cable. This initiative will increase Palau’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.
USAID is also supporting Palau’s economic growth by addressing the interrelated economic challenges from the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change. Island nations like Palau are the most vulnerable to climate change, and their small size and isolation makes their economies vulnerable; these factors devastated Palau’s economy when the pandemic struck. To build Palau’s economic resilience, USAID is bolstering agricultural production, supporting partners to safeguard crops from extreme weather, and helping communities rehabilitate land that has been harmed by climate change.
DEMOCRACY AND GOVERNANCE
USAID reinforces good governance by encouraging all Palau 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 intergenerational mentoring program that addresses the issues youth face and nurtures them to take an active role in Palauan society by fostering relationships with their elders. USAID programs promote the integrity of electoral processes, support independent media and information integrity, protect human rights, foster accountability and transparency, and strengthen the rule of law and civil society.
DISASTER PREPAREDNESS AND RESPONSE
USAID supports Palau’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.
USAID trained Palau's first Emergency Medical Teams and equipped them to quickly deploy to any state that has declared a localized emergency. Because disaster response is particularly complex with COVID-19, USAID has provided training and personal protective equipment to frontline health workers.
USAID supports Palau to prevent the spread and mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. For example, USAID supported UNICEF to procure and deliver personal protective equipment for 335 healthcare workers in Palau.
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.