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US Commits US$800m

The United States of America has committed more than USD800 million (about FJ$1.83 billion)) to the Pacific re­gion. This was announced to Pacific Is­land leaders present at the historic US Pacific Island Country Summit which concluded in Washington DC on September 29.
01 Oct 2022 17:00
US Commits US$800m
United States President Joe Biden and our Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama take a selfie at the U.S. Pacific Island Country Summit in Washington, DC. Photo: Office of the Prime Ministe

The United States of America has committed more than USD800 million (about FJ$1.83 billion)) to the Pacific re­gion.

This was announced to Pacific Is­land leaders present at the historic US Pacific Island Country Summit which concluded in Washington DC on September 29.

US President Joe Biden had also made additional commitments, launching its Partnership strategy with the region, the first national US strategy for Pacific Islands.

President Biden said this was a key component to their broader Indo Pacific strategy.

Part of the announcement by President Biden was the appoint­ment of a first ever U.S. envoy to the regional Pacific Islands Forum and the re-establishment of a US­AID mission in Suva by September 2023.

He said the new U.S. assistance was aimed at ensuring an Indo Pa­cific region that was free and open, one that is stable and prosperous, resilient and secure.

ASSISTANCE

President Biden announced more than $110million in expanded US programs to improve the lives of Pacific Islanders.

“Which includes more than $130million in new investments to support climate resilience and build sustainable blue economies in the Pacific Islands, prepare for climate impacts on public health and food security, and to strength­en sustainable development and also to build better early warning capacity to predict, prepare for and respond to climate hazards.

“This is going to build on approxi­mately $375million in climate pro­grams currently having the region. We’re also taking several impor­tant diplomatic steps.

“We have been looking forward to this for a long time.”

The meeting also discussed the launch of a new trade and invest­ment dialogue with the Pacific Is­land nations that would enhance maritime security, and provide up to $3.5 million over five years to improve the region’s internet con­nectivity and to support cyber se­curity.

COMMITMENT

President Biden said the US was committed to working together with the region to equitably rebuild the global economy in the wake of COVID-19 and Russia’s war.

He said security in the Pacific and for the Pacific Islanders remains as critical as ever to the US.

“So this summit is also about deepening our enduring commit­ment to each other and our shared future.

“Our commitment to tackling the climate crisis which threatens all of us, we’re seeing the consequenc­es of climate change around the world very vividly, including in the United States right now.

“And I know your nations feel as acutely and for you all, it’s an existential threat, an existential threat.”

Story By: inoke.rabonu@fijisun.com.fj



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