The Republic of the Marshall Islands and the Pacific Community have signed an agreement formalizing the Islands nations Country Program for 2019-2022. The Program provides a framework for work over the next 4 years and ensures that priorities identified by RMI as essential to achieving its development objectives and Sustainable Development Goals.
The agreement was signed by the Marshall Islands President Hilda Heine and SPC’s Director-General Dr. Colin Tukuitonga.
For the 2019-2022 Program, seven priority areas have been identified: statistics, biosecurity, food security, agriculture, non-communicable diseases, gender and civil registration/vital statistics. In addition, the Island nation will continue to emphasize the ongoing projects in such areas as fisheries, education, disaster risk reduction, and climate change.
Heine emphasized the importance of the agreement to the Marshall Islands, and the unique advantages that come from its membership in the Pacific Community, saying “This Country Program lays out a clear path over the next 4 years on areas we want to do a deeper dive in, while continuing on-going projects with SPC. With the expert technical and scientific support from the Pacific Community I am confident that we can reach our targets”.
The Country Program for RMI was one of the first developed for a Pacific Community member with the original Joint Country Strategy introduced in 2008. Since that time, RMI and SPC have worked closely on a variety of key development projects, which have brought positive change to the Marshallese.
Tukuitonga praised the ambitious targets of the Country Program and highlighted the Program as an example of how the Pacific is taking a leading role in taking action on sustainable development priorities. “This Country Program is not just a statement of principles, it provides specific, measurable and achievable actions that will have a dramatic impact on the future of RMI. SPC is proud to be a partner in this effort and we look forward to working closely with President Heine and her team.”