$1.8bn aid to island countries

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama meets US President Joe Biden at the White House, Washington DC. Picture: TWITTER

The United States will provide more than $US810 million ($F1.86b) to aid Pacific island countries.

This financial commitment was announced at the first-ever United States-Pacific Islands Country Summit in Washington on Thursday.

In a media statement, the US said the initiatives would seek to improve the lives and wellbeing of all Pacific Islanders by expanding diplomatic engagement, including the historic announcement that the US would recognise the Cook Islands and Niue, following appropriate consultations.

The US said it would also combat the climate crisis, launch a new Trade and Investment Dialogue, provide development assistance, enhance maritime security, expand educational opportunities, enhance security, health, and digital capacity, and addressing painful legacies of war.

The US said the new initiatives would include the 10-year $600 million Economic Assistance Agreement request to Congress, which is associated with the South Pacific Tuna Treaty.

The historic summit ended yesterday with 14 Pacific island countries signing the Declaration on US-Pacific Partnership with US President Joe Biden.

The 11-point partnership included a call for all countries to reduce collective anthropogenic methane emissions at least 30 per cent by 2030 from 2020 levels, acknowledged the urgent and immediate need for assistance with vulnerability to debt, post-COVID-19 and opposed all efforts to undermine the territorial integrity and sovereignty of any country, large or small.

The leaders also committed to continuing cooperation in addressing COVID-19 concerns and other health-related issues.

More Stories