Foreign Assistance: Lessons Learned From Donors' Experiences in the Pacific Region
GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE WASHINGTON DC
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From fiscal years 1987 to 2001, the United States gave at least 2.6 billion in economic assistance to the Federated States of Micronesia and the Republic of the Marshall Islands. A major portion of this assistance, about 1.7 billion, was provided under an international agreement, the Compact of Free Association. The Compact provided for assistance to the two Pacific Island nations over a 15-year period, starting in 1986. Currently, the United States is negotiating with the two countries to extend the economic assistance provisions of the Compact, which are set to end in late 2001. To address concerns that 1 the countries remain highly dependent on U.S. assistance 2 the assistance has not significantly improved conditions in the countries and 3 the expenditures have received little oversight, the U.S. negotiator is considering the use of different assistance strategies than those in the current agreements. To assist the Congress in its review of the proposals for providing economic assistance that are under consideration in the negotiations, you asked us to identify useful lessons from the experiences of other donors in the Pacific. Specifically, we 1 identify the major donors of development assistance to the Pacific Island nations and their objectives, 2 discuss the donors development assistance strategies and the factors or experiences that influence their choice of strategies, and 3 report lessons from the other donors assistance strategies that could be useful for U.S. consideration.
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