IOM in the North Pacific at a Glance
IOM established its first office in the region in Majuro in May 2009. The opening of the sub-regional Head Office in Pohnpei followed a few months later. The FSM has been a member state since December 2011 and the RMI acceded to membership on 26 November, 2013.
Town Hall Meeting in Pohnpei & Majuro
On October 04, 2011, the FSM Office of Environment and Emergency Management (OEEM), United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the US Embassy and IOM (International Organization for Migration) hosted a Town Hall meeting to provide information on the US government plans on emergency and reconstruction assistance to the people of the FSM through IOM as USAID’s principal implementation partner. The meeting was held at the Pohnpei State Complex Building and was attended by several public and private entities in Pohnpei.
This was a unique opportunity for the general public to ask questions to a distinguished panel USG representatives including: Kevin Clark --FEMA, one of the original authors of the Operational Blue Print, (the principle document that guides how USG assistance will be provided in the region), James Calacal, Program Officer FEMA, Robert Scripp, Operations Branch Chief --FEMA, Terrie Suiderhoek, Program Director --FEMA, Myra Stokes, Senior USAID Program Officer based in Manila, Rob Beadle, USAID Program Officer --based in Manila, Bart Deemer, USAID/OFDA --Disaster Assistance Coordinator based in Majuro, Ashley Carl, IOM Country Officer based in Pohnpei. The meeting also provided the opportunity to clarify to the attendees that while in fact FEMA may still play a supporting role in the region, the responsibility to actually respond to a disaster will be delegated to the USAID through its implementing partner IOM.
On October 6, the Town Hall meeting held in RMI, the RMI National Disaster Committee met with United States Government officials from the USAID and FEMA. While the primary focus of the meeting was to discuss the scope of Disaster assistance available to the Marshall Islands from the United States, the meeting also afforded the opportunity to introduce US officials from both USAID and FEMA to Marshall Island government officials.
Following the meeting, participants met at the Logistics Base in Uliga Dock, where the IOM manages warehouse for storing pre-positioned humanitarian supplies on behalf of USAID. It was an appropriate venue for U.S. Ambassador Campbell to make formal announcement regarding an in-kind donation from USAID to the RMI National Disaster Committee (NDC) aimed at enhancing their disaster response capacity. The donation consists of five portable Reverse Osmosis (RO) machines and 3,000 collapsible jerry cans. The RO units, which are powered by solar panels and small enough to fit in the trunk of a car, will allow the RMI National Government to respond to water related emergencies swiftly; which do not reach the threshold for a declared disaster requiring additional U.S. government assistance.
The RMI Secretary of Transportation and Communications, Mr. Phil Phillipo, expressed the gratitude of the Disaster Committee and thanked the Ambassador, USAID, FEMA and IOM representatives for the supporting role they play in the RMI.