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$8.48 million in COFA grant earmarked for new hospital project in Chuuk

By Mar-Vic Cagurangan

The Department of the Interior's Office of Insular Affairs today announced an investment of $8.48 million in Compact of Free Association grant assistance for the Federated States of Micronesia’s new hospital project in Chuuk.

The amount earmarked for the hospital project accounted for almost 90 percent of the $9.8 million allotted for the infrastructure sector this year.

The renewed COFA agreement guarantees $140 million in annual U.S. assistance to the FSM for 20 years beginning this year.

While the amended COFA gives the FSM flexibility to decide on sector allocations, the agreement requires that 25 percent of the annual grants be set aside for infrastructure.

The amended treaty lifts the requirement for the FSM to make local matching contributions to the Infrastructure Maintenance Fund.

"We are thrilled to contribute to and support the initial development of a much-needed healthcare facility to address healthcare needs on Weno and communities throughout Chuuk State,” said Carmen G. Cantor, assistant secretary for Insular and International Affairs. “The collaboration efforts underscore our commitment under the Compact of Free Association to improve infrastructure in the region."

U.S. and FSM officials first announced the plan to build a $50-million new hospital in Weno to replace Chuuk’s old medical facility in 2019.

"The funding announced today is supported by collaborative efforts among the Federated States of Micronesia national government, the Chuuk State government, the U.S. government, and other important partners," DPOI said in a press release.

"This marks a significant milestone in collaborations to enhance healthcare services in Chuuk and replace hospital infrastructure that was built before 1986 or the beginning of the Compact of Free Association relationship," DOI said.


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