The FSM request for the sector grants, excluding infrastructure, was $52,168,585 but only $50,835,415 was approved by JEMCO. The education and health budgets have been granted in full while cuts were made to the public sector capacity building, private sector development, and environment sectors. The FSM JEMCO members stressed that the impact of these cuts, in what appear to be small grants, will be large at the State level. The committee’s final decision to cut funding to these sectors reflects a lack of sensitivity to the economic and financial situation in the States.
The FSM requested a grant of $66.5 million for its infrastructure program. This grant was to implement the first year of projects, as prioritized by the States, in the updated Infrastructure Development Plan 2015. The Plan is currently being finalized for endorsement later this month. However, the JEMCO resolution only provided for three projects – two in Pohnpei and one in Chuuk, totaling $16 million, which will be available after the Plan is completed. FSM National Government sees this as stalling the country’s economic recovery.
For the prior year unallocated sector grant assistance, the FSM States had requested $12,360,052 in project grants, but only $8,736,340 of grants are being approved by JEMCO. Once again, the withholding of funds from the States when every dollar counts towards their economic recovery, does not sit well with the FSM National Government