Today, USAID Administrator Samantha Power opened the USAID/Pacific Islands Mission, which will help to advance the economic and social development goals of Pacific Island countries. The Administrator was joined by Ambassador Marie C. Damour and new Mission Director Zema Semunegus at the U.S. Embassy in Suva, Fiji. The opening of the new Mission demonstrates the United States’ commitment to partnering with our Pacific Island neighbors and fulfilling the commitment made by President Biden last year at the historic Summit with Pacific Islands Leaders.
Based in Suva, Fiji, USAID/Pacific Islands will manage USAID programs in nine Pacific Island countries: Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, Samoa, Tonga, Tuvalu, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, and Palau. The USAID/Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, and Vanuatu Country Representative Office will oversee programs in those countries. USAID currently has staff located in Fiji, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Palau, Papua New Guinea, and Solomon Islands.
The USAID/Pacific Islands Mission will implement the five-year USAID Strategic Framework for the Pacific Islands, which aligns with the priorities of the Pacific Island nations in the 2050 Strategy for the Blue Pacific Continent, to advance a more democratic, prosperous, and resilient Pacific Island region. Our increased presence will enhance USAID’s partnership with individual Pacific Island governments, build stronger people-to-people ties, and implement more tailored programs at the community level. The new Mission will strengthen USAID’s ability to deliver sustainable results on priorities set by Pacific Islanders, including resilience against future pandemics, economic shocks, and the impacts of the climate crisis. It will also allow USAID to better and promote economic development activities; support strong political systems that champion democratic values, good governance, and human rights; and champion equity and inclusion for all Pacific Islanders.
USAID’s strong partnership with Pacific Island nations advances a free and open Indo-Pacific that is more connected, prosperous, resilient, and secure.