Panuelo welcomes Epperson of USAID to Congress

PALIKIR, POHNPEI - January 23, 2018.   Chairman David W. Panuelo, on behalf of Speaker Wesley W. Simina, met with and welcomed to the Congress of the Federated States of Micronesia Deputy Mission Director Clay Epperson of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

Deputy Director Epperson was in Chuuk to attend a close-out ceremony on March 20th for assistance provided through USAID for Typhoon Maysak recovery efforts.  Typhoon Maysak was classified as a Category 5 super typhoon as it passed by the islands of Chuuk and Yap in March of 2015. It left in its wake four deaths, 10 injuries and over 5,000 people in need of emergency assistance.

Subsequent to the close-out ceremony for Chuuk, the Deputy Director and Robert Pierce from the USAID Office in Manila, Philippines visited the state of Pohnpei and met with the national leadership where they also paid a courtesy visit to the Legislative Branch of the national government.

Chairman Panuelo welcomed Deputy Director Epperson and Pierce along with US Ambassador Robert Riley and Deputy Chief of Mission Joanne Cummings who were accompanied by staff from the Department of Foreign Affairs. He expressed the collective appreciation of the Congress for the massive work executed in the Nation by the USAID and assured Deputy Director Epperson of the Congress’ support in such undertakings. 

During their discussions, Ambassador Riley shared that the USAID projects in Chuuk and Yap were funded through the US Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The Ambassador further expressed the importance of supporting Climate Ready projects, which operates under the umbrella of USAID to provide assistance in capacity building, among others.Chairman Panuelo agreed about the importance of climate ready projects and especially highlighted that preparedness was an issue of extreme importance to the FSM as a Nation prone to and extremely vulnerable to typhoons. The short visit concluded and Panuelo thanked the Ambassador and Deputy Director Epperson for their role in the successful completion and close-out of the USAID towards Typhoon Maysak in the state of Chuuk. 


* * *