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.
Environment, Energy and Climate Change
Disaster Preparedness for Effective Response (PREPARE) Program
To increase the resilience of FSM and RMI in mitigating the effects of natural disasters by enhancing national and local capacities for disaster preparedness, response and recovery
Photo, above right
PREPARE Emergency Assistance Specialist oversees the loading of relief supplies for the RMI’s northern atolls during the 2013 US Presidentially-declared drought disaster.
Photography credit: Warehouse Manager Tim Langrine
The Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) and the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) are two nations collectively made up of 1,800 islands spanning 2,000 miles across the northwestern Pacific Ocean. More than 155,000 people living in these islands are vulnerable to disasters caused by climate change, including rising sea levels, and shifting rainfall and storm patterns.
Under the Compacts of Free Association between the United States Government and the Governments of the RMI and FSM articulate, USAID provides supplementary assistance to disaster management and reconstruction efforts for these independent nations.
USAID’s five-year Disaster Preparedness for Effective Response (PREPARE) program follows the Disaster Mitigation, Relief, and Reconstruction Program (DMRRP), in which the International Organization for Migration (IOM) established an operational and logistics presence in five locations in the two countries. This entailed pre-positioning humanitarian relief supplies and equipment and enhanced standby capacity for logistics, medical response and reconstruction of housing and public infrastructure. After facilitating USAID’s response to the 2013 drought in the Marshall Islands, the DMRRP closed in late 2014.
• PREPARE strengthens contingency planning for a variety of context-specific hazards throughout the islands, and engages governments, the Red Cross Societies, civil society, and first responders to have well-defined and coordinated roles within disaster responses. Using tabletop and live simulations, these actors will be better prepared to respond to typhoon, tsunami, drought, landslides, and crisis situations. The program also trains Micronesians and Marshallese to become emergency medical responders, and enhances the capacity in remote islands/atolls through radio outreach and the drafting of community-driven preparedness plans.
The community of Wotho Atoll, RMI and PREPARE Public Health Personnel pose with USAID-funded food relief during the 2013 US Presidentially-declared drought disaster.
Photography credit: Borja Milne-Stephen of Women United In The Marshall Islands (WUTMI)
Disaster Assistance and Reconstruction Manager
International Organization for Migration (IOM)
Suite 2G Pohn Umpomp Building,
Pohn Umpomp Place
Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia
Office: +(691) 320-8735
For more information on USAID’s projects in the Pacific Islands, visit:
• PREPARE refines and prepositions assessment tools to rapidly identify relief and reconstruction needs during disasters. The program also maintains desalination and power generation capacity that can further expedite relief efforts. PREPARE works with local and international experts to design culturally-relevant and environmentally-appropriate houses and establish distribution modalities to enable the rapid reconstruction of housing and public infrastructure.
• Improved capacity of remote outer island residents to mitigate disaster impacts, respond effectively to early warning notifications, and report key post-event needs
• Streamlined, well-coordinated disaster preparedness and response efforts from local to international actors
• In the event of a disaster exceeding host country capacity, facilitation of a rapid and appropriate response by the US Government and external actors to relief, recovery, and reconstruction needs