Government of the Federated States of Micronesia

President Mori Decrees Additional Funding for Emergency Declaration

Palikir, Pohnpei (FSM Information Services): January 13, 2009 - On Friday, January 9th, 2008 President Mori decreed $1.4 million that was appropriated by Public Law No. 15-66 to be utilized for funding the relief efforts for the National State of Emergency. This amount becomes fully available to be used by the National Emergency Task Force to cover the costs of the relief efforts in all four states. The Emergency Task Force has already created a proposed budget for the relief fund that shows how the $1.4 million will be used to cover consumables like fuel and food relief supplies for the next three months, travel for the assessment and relief teams, planting materials for replenishing the food supply in the damaged islands, and the personnel costs associated with implementing this plan.

The $1.4 million was originally appropriated by Congress for public projects and programs under Public Law No. 15-66. The President subsequently vetoed this and repackaged the $1.4 million into a new piece of legislation that would help address funding for the emergency situation. In Standing Committee Report No. 15-172, the CFSM Committee on Ways and Means, which was duly adopted by the Sixth Special Session in January 2009, wrote that, "under our Constitution, the President is empowered to declare a state of emergency under which all the resources of the nation are made available to him to deal with the emergency" and, "it is felt that the best approach would be to override the veto on this act, with the understanding, however, that the President under the state of emergency is free to deal with the current emergency in any way he sees fit with the funds made available by this bill." It was this rationale that led the FSM Congress to override the veto and make the funds immediately available for the President to use.

It was with this "sense of Congress" that President Mori decreed the $1.4 million to be used to fund the remaining budget for the relief efforts. His plan is to immediately use 60% of this decreed amount, or $800,000, for the first month (January) of the relief plan, with the remaining 40% to be utilized based upon needs, urgency, and further approval from the President during the second and third months (February and March). While the initial $300,000 that was decreed on December 29th, 2008, was directed for emergency aid and assessment of the four states, the additional funding will be used for a three month feeding program and a rehabilitation of the food crops in the islands where the food supply has been devastated.

For further information on this release, please contact:

FSM Office of the President
Public Information: Press, Radio, Video
P.O Box 34
Palikir Station, Pohnpei, FM 96941
Tel.: (691) 320-2548/2092
Fax.: (691) 320-4356