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Trump administration awards $608K in grants for FSM

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WASHINGTON (U.S. Department of the Interior) —  The Trump administration announced $608,180 in fiscal year 2020 grant funding provided through the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Office of Insular Affairs’ Technical Assistance Program to support the Federated States of Micronesia.

“The [Interior] secretary and I are pleased to support a wide-range of grants for various programs and priorities in the Federated States of Micronesia,” said Interior Assistant Secretary for Insular and International Affairs, Douglas W. Domenech. “These funds will help promote and protect World Heritage Site Nan Madol on Pohnpei while also furthering traditional weaving and carving knowledge in Yap. Funds will also support youth robotics programs in participating high schools in all four FSM states, train public auditors, and help the Pohnpei State Government track and prioritize foreign aid.”

“The U.S. government is proud to play a key role in ensuring FSM youth are an integral part of the future but at the same time are firmly rooted in the proud history of the nation through cultural preservation of Nan Madol and FSM cultural traditions,” said U.S. Ambassador to the FSM Carmen G. Cantor.

Fiscal year 2020 Technical Assistance Program grant funding totaling $608,180 will be provided to support the Federated States of Micronesia for the following projects as detailed below:

  • Habele (a non-profit organization) - $358,525 will be used to support the Habele Robotics League, a program that promotes the development of engineering and math skills through robot building and 3D printing at twenty-three public and private high schools on Chuuk, Kosrae, Pohnpei, and Yap States in the FSM. Habele is a U.S.-based non-profit organization founded by former U.S. Peace Corps volunteers and who work on-ground with stakeholders in the FSM.
  • FSM Office of National Archive, Culture, and Historic Preservation - $55,760 will be used to support a vegetation removal and management program at the Nan Madol World Heritage Site in Pohnpei. Funding will also be used to create and develop signage leading to Nan Madol, located on the opposite side of the island from the airport and town center.
  • Pohnpei State Governor’s Office - $50,500 will be used to strengthen Pohnpei State’s Aid Coordination Unit responsible for coordinating and strengthening management of foreign assistance to Pohnpei. Funds will be used to develop a database for tracking and the develop formal procedures and guidelines, to include local policy guidelines on coordination and implementation of external resources provided to Pohnpei State.
  • Habele - $41,300 will be used to support the Micronesian Adze Blade Project to design and develop steel versions of the Micronesian adze, formerly made of shell and stone and used historically for carving out traditional Carolinian canoes or proas. Habele will work with master carvers and navigators to design and develop a range of traditional Micronesian adzes for distribution to local carvers in support of efforts across Micronesia to sustain and expand the production of canoes, once the sole mode of transport in Oceania and used by traditional celestial navigators who traveled the Pacific Ocean without Western instruments.
  • Habele - $35,550 will be used to support the Weaving Connections Project whereby women in the freely associated states and in the United States will collaborate to teach and learn traditional Carolinian weaving skills, using a back-strap loom to produce fine textiles used to make wrap around skirts, also known as lava lavas. The project aims to protect and promote centuries-long traditions of weaving while also supporting connections between communities of Pacific Islander women in Freely Associated States and in the United States.
  • Kosrae State Public Auditor’s Office - $35,000 will be used to upgrade the website for the Kosrae State Public Auditor’s Office and support public auditor training, that includes participation in an annual auditor’s conference in the FSM and the Association of Government Accountants conference on Guam.
  • Chuuk State Public Auditor’s Office - $31,545 will be used to support public auditor participation at the Department of the Interior Office of the Inspector General’s annual conference and to purchase related study materials.

The OIA Technical Assistance Program is made available each year by Congress to support priorities in support of the U.S. territories and the freely associated states. For more information on grant assistance provided through OIA, please visit: https://www.doi.gov/oia/financial-assistance

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