10 May 2010

Marshall Islands warned to begin preparing for end of US aid

1:42 pm on 10 May 2010

The Marshall Islands needs to prepare now for the end of large-scale United States grants in 2023.

The U.S. Ambassador Martha Campbell told a recent public forum in Majuro that Washington isn't going to extend or provide more aid to the former U.S. territory under the Compact of Free Association agreement.

It is now seven years into a 20-year aid package that when combined with an earlier 15-year deal will have provided the Marshall Islands with a total of about four billion US dollars.

Our correspondent in Majuro, Giff Johnson, says the Marshalls' trust fund will be a buffer when grants stop, though the International Monetary Fund says it would provide only half what the US currently provides.

He says the Ambassador wanted to remind people that 2023 is not that far away and action is needed.

"And that a lot of things need to be done, including trust fund investments needs to be jacked up significantly if the Marshall Islands is to have funding in its trust fund that will come close to replacing US grant levels."

Giff Johnson.