Office of the Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Insular Areas
Washington, D.C. - Director for the Office of Insular Affairs (OIA), Nikolao Pula, announced a $500,000 grant to support beneficiaries of the Prior Service Trust Fund Administration. Funding is made available through OIA’s Technical Assistance Program. Support funds Prior Service benefit payments to beneficiaries in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI), the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI), the Republic of Palau.
Beneficiaries are citizens who worked for the U.S. Department of the Navy and the Government of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands (TTPI) between 1944 and June 30, 1968. The Prior Service Benefits Trust Fund Administration ensures the solvency of the Fund and that payments to beneficiaries continue uninterrupted.
“I am pleased to support this initiative as a part of our appreciation and gratitude for the men and women of the former TTPI districts who helped support U.S. military and civilian personnel over more than two decades as the United States carried out its responsibilities as the TTPI’s administering authority,” said Pula.
From the last days of the Second World War, Micronesians worked with U.S. military and civilian personnel providing essential services, including those to active-duty soldiers, sailors and airmen and, care for the wounded and support for the men fighting in places like Iwo Jima and Okinawa. These employees were paid very low meager salaries, often as low as 9 cents an hour, with no employee benefits.
In June 2009, a census of beneficiaries was conducted, revealing 359 beneficiaries in the CNMI, 753 in the FSM, 236 in the RMI, and 319 in the Republic of Palau.