US assistance provided through compacts of free association with the Federated States of Micronesia, the Marshall Islands, and Palau provides as much as one-third of the countries' annual budgets. This includes compact grants—for critical services like health care and education—that will end in 2023 or 2024. To offset the ending of this assistance, the United States also contributes to trust funds for each country meant to partly replace the assistance. A recent US Government Accountability Office (GAO) report reviewed the projected fiscal effects of the ending of compact grants and services. The GAO report projected that Micronesia's and the Marshall Islands' trust funds will supply less funding than the grants that are ending and may provide none in some years—leading to shortfalls in the governments’ abilities to financially support the two nations. The GAO also found, among other things, that the State Department hasn't set timeframes for establishing a key economic advisory group to help Palau use US funds accountably. GAO staff plan to discuss these, and other important issues identified in the report at this event.
This seminar will be on-the-record and recorded on both Zoom and YouTube.