10 Feb 2004

U.S. signs funding deal with Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands

12:32 pm on 10 February 2004

The United States has signed an agreement with the Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands to provide long term financial assistance.

The funding would provide up to 13 million U.S. dollars per year for the next six years for capital improvement projects.

The deal also allows for financial assistance to continue indefinitely or until the U.S. Congress chooses to discontinue it.

CNMI's Lieutenant Governor, Diego Benavente, says CNMI will be allocated a baseline target of 11 million dollars annually.

But, he says they could receive as much as 13 million or as little as 9 million dollars in any year depending on CNMI's performance with respect to fiscal management and specific project proposals.

For the fiscal year starting in September 2004, the U.S. administration will request just over 12.4 million dollars.

A spokesperson for the Interior department says the U.S. wanted to allocate capital improvement funds among CNMI, Guam, American Samoa and the U.S. Virgin Islands on a competitive basis.