Suva – The U.S. Embassy today announced a new partnership between the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC). The new partnership signals the U.S. government’s continued commitment to bolster the capacity of Pacific Islands countries to lead their countries to stable, prosperous futures.
“The United States views the Pacific as an essential part of a free and open Indo-Pacific region, and remains deeply committed to the Pacific Islands’ security and prosperity,” said Acting USAID Pacific Islands Mission Director Patrick Wesner.
The U.S. government provided an initial $14 million into the five-year agreement, which will expand U.S. assistance in the Pacific to improve digital connectivity, increase environmental resilience, combat illegal fishing, and promote good governance.
Through the partnership, USAID will protect fisheries resources in Pacific waters, which supply food and income to millions of people in the Pacific Islands and beyond. USAID will engage regional, national, and local institutions, including the private sector, to improve the management of marine protected areas, and enhance local economic development.
USAID will also expand access to reliable and secure digital connectivity infrastructure. Complementing investments by World Bank, ADB, Australia and New Zealand, U.S. assistance will expand digital infrastructure and help reform the legal and regulatory environment, in order to attract more private investment.
Lastly, USAID, through the new agreement will provide targeted technical support to strengthen democratic institutions, promote civil society, and improve public financial management and accountability. This also includes increased political participation of women, youth, and people with disabilities.
Since 2011, USAID has been working with 11 Pacific countries — Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu — to strengthen disaster preparedness and environmental resilience, address gender-based violence, fight HIV/AIDs and tuberculosis, and advance democratic governance.
For more information:
Regional Public Diplomacy Officer
U.S. Embassy Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, Tonga and Tuvalu Phone: (679) 331 – 4466
You can also visit our website at http://www.usaid.gov/pacific-islands
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