humanitarian aid to micronesia
Micronesia — also known as the Federated States of Micronesia — is a country in the Pacific Ocean made up of more than 600 islands. The country contains four island states named Pohnpei, Kosrae, Chuuk and Yap, and its capital, Palikir, is located on Pohnpei.

Micronesia is at risk of typhoons and super typhoons, which can cause widespread disaster through the islands. In 2008, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) took over humanitarian aid to Micronesia. Previously, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) provided humanitarian assistance to Micronesia.

Foreign Assistance

USAID, along with the International Organization for Mitigation (IOM), has introduced many programs to help bring humanitarian aid to Micronesia. In an effort to help the most people, the agency is focusing on disaster mitigation. Specifically, in regards to typhoons.

Shortly after taking over funding for humanitarian aid to Micronesia, the United States Agency for International Development funded the Hybrid Mitigation, Relief, and Reconstruction Program which ran through 2013. The International Organization for Mitigation (IOM) also managed and implemented various planning and pre-positioning efforts in Micronesia in areas that are most likely to be hit by natural disasters.

In 2012, the United States Agency for International Development and the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID) funded the Climate Adaptation, Disaster Risk Management, and Education (CADRE) Program. The program was implemented by the International Organization for Mitigation and works with local government and communities to increase emergency response capacity; this program is still in effect today.

Efforts After Typhoon Maysak

Since Typhoon Maysak, which passed through Micronesia in the spring of 2015, more than $6 million has been spent on humanitarian aid to Micronesia. Most of this funding went towards the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, which helps households affected by typhoons. Their efforts include shelter coordination, sanitation, clean water and hygiene interventions.

Also in 2015, in the wake of multiple typhoons and super typhoons from 2013-2015, the United States Agency for International Development, introduced the Disaster Preparedness for Effective Response (PREPARE) Program. Again, this program was implemented by the International Organization of Mitigation. This program pre-positions humanitarian relief supplies, reconstruction and housing infrastructure. The goal of the program is to quickly bring relief to those affected by typhoons in Micronesia and increase the resilience of the nation by mitigating the effects of natural disasters. Thankfully, this program is still in effect, as of 2017.

Through the past several years, the United States Agency for International Development partnered with the International Organization for Mitigation has had many successes in humanitarian aid to Micronesia. In addition to funding mitigation efforts, the United States Agency for International Development has also provided over $4 million to the International Organization for Mitigation, specifically for reconstruction efforts such as housing and utilities.

Most of these efforts are spread through the entirety of Micronesia, but Chuuk and Yap, the most western island states, receive more aid since they are more likely to suffer from a natural disaster. As these programs continue, Micronesia has a great chance of recovering faster and suffering far less damage from any future natural disasters.

– Courtney Wallace
Photo: Flickr