Government of the Federated States of Micronesia

FEMA services to be transferred to USAID/OFDA

Palikir, Pohnpei (Dept. of Foreign Affairs): August 27, 2008 - On August 20, 2008, a meeting was held between US and FSM government officials regarding the transfer of the services from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to the Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA) within the US Agency for the International Development (USAID).

The Four-member US-team, comprised of FEMA, OFDA, and USAID officials, accompanied by the US Embassy Acting Deputy Chief of Mission, Mr. Arnold Campbell, provided an update of the changeover by November 4, 2008 transition date set by US Congress. Mr. Kevin Clark of the FEMA Region IX Office (Oakland) expressed the significance of securing the needs and interests of the FSM during the transition, while ensuring that there are no disruptions in services in order to fulfill obligations under Article X of the Federal Programs and Services Agreement in the Amended Compact.

The key differences encompassed in the transfer, many of which are the result of research to improve disaster relief services in the FSM, include a USAID/OFDA mandate to work with local governments to promote capacity; on the ground support by a Program Manager to cover FSM and the Republic of the Marshall Islands, based in Majuro; prepositioning of emergency supplies in the warehouses to be place in Yap and Chuuk, administered by a contracted third party implementing partner; and mitigation support during off-season, such as emergency preparedness, repairing water catchment systems and fitting roofs before typhoon seasons.

The transition from FEMA to OFDA is intended to promote the continued development of the FSM on a sustainable basis. The FSM is currently in the process of establishing the Disaster Assistance Emergency Fund (DAEF), as outlined in the Fiscal Procedures Agreement of the Amended Compact. The US and FSM Governments have agreed to each deposit $200K annually into the Fund, which will be utilized for disaster response and relief, with the assistance of OFDA.

The FSM was represented at the meeting by officials from the Office of EEM, the Department of Health and Social Affairs, the Micronesian Red Cross Society and the Department of Foreign Affairs.

For further information contact the Subdivision of American Affairs in the Department of Foreign Affairs, (691) 320-2544 or the Office of Environment & Emergency Management, (691) 320-8815.

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