The Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) is a collection of 29 low-lying islands and atolls. Their unique position in the north Pacific exposes them to a series of natural disasters that multiply the preexisting vulnerabilities of RMI’s population of 53,158. Between 1988 and 2008, 18 natural disasters struck RMI (World Bank). This trend continued with the devastating 2013 drought, Typhoon Nangka in 2015 and then the 2016 drought, which was brought about by “one of the strongest El Nino events in recorded history” (NOAA). Funding is needed to prepare for future disasters and address ongoing challenges related to clean and sufficient quantities of water, climate change adaptation and preparedness.
The 2016 El Nino induced drought was a disaster declared by both the RMI and the U.S. Government. IOM distributed supplemental food assistance, hygiene items and reverse osmosis machines that produced life saving drinking water. Drought conditions continue in 2017 and highlight the urgent need for sustainable investments in RMI’s remote outer islands. Rainwater harvesting systems and continued use of reverse osmosis technology will be crucial interventions in the future.
IOM also manages the Disaster Preparedness for Effective Response (PREPARE) Program which works closely with Governmental counterparts with the common goal to increase resilience of RMI in mitigating the effects of natural disasters by enhancing national and local capacities for disaster preparedness, response and recovery. An Essentials of Humanitarian Assistances training for the Marshall Islands and is being implemented in Majuro at the national level throughout 2017. There have been request form local government leadership in the remote outer islands to bring this training to their communities, but within the current program funding is limited.
Finally, IOM RMI works closely with partners to implement the Climate Adaptation Disaster Risk Reduction and Education Program (CADRE +) which offers critical support to communities at-risk. Using IOMs expertise in climate change adaptation and disaster preparedness the project supports sustainable solutions for resiliency in vulnerable schools and communities through community based initiatives and education. This also supports the national government and PREPARE program efforts by facilitating the establishment of disaster committees in the outer islands.
Note: the interventions are in line with IOM’s Migration Crisis Operational Framework and country strategy to address migration issues and initiate development-principled programming to establish the foundations for longer-term recovery to complement its humanitarian programmes.
Overall Targeted Beneficiaries: IOM is targeting the total population of 53,158 for the activities described above, including climate change adaptation and preparedness efforts
Contact Information: Mr. Stuart Simpson, Chief of Mission for the Federated States of Micronesia, Republic of the Marshall Islands and Republic of Palau (email@example.com).
IOM Offices: Country Office: Pohnpei, FSM; Sub-Office: Majuro, RMI
International Staff: 3
National Staff: 9
During the ongoing 2016 El Nino Induced Drought response, IOM achieved the following:
- Provision of a four-month supply of supplemental food assistance (SFA) to 4,737 individuals, plus an additional three-month supply of SFA to 2,981 individuals;
- Distribution of over 6,000 jerrycans to 26,375 beneficiaries;
- Hygiene assistance, including soap, hand sanitizer and female hygiene kits, to 19,500 beneficiaries; and,
- Production of 750,000 gallons of fresh water, serving 37 communities and 8,970 beneficiaries.
Disaster Risk Reduction and Resilience Building
Enhancing Community Based Climate Change and Disaster ManagementAmount Requested: USD 3,500,000 Amount Received: USD 2,000,000Objective:Through participatory and culturally appropriate decision making support community members and leaders in emergency evacuation shelter operations management and establishment of disaster committees, inclusive of the essentials of humanitarian assistance training and basic first aid and CPR.Beneficiaries:Target 39 communities in 17 local government jurisdictions
Monitoring and Enhancing Water QualityAmount Requested: USD 500,000 Amount Received: USD 50,000Objective:To hold trainings on the use of Reverse Osmosis Units (RO Units) in RMI, ultimately expanding on Government efforts to monitor water quality and implement sustainable forms of water purification.Beneficiaries:Training of 50 individuals on RO Units and reach 9,000 beneficiaries for water quality and purification
Rainwater Harvesting Improvement and Capacity BuildingAmount Requested: USD 1,500,000 Amount Received: USD 450,000Objective:The objective is to improve rainwater harvesting systems in vulnerable atolls to help meet immediate and long-term water-related needs in RMI. The project will used a tested community-based approach to the rainwater system improvements which involves education and capacity building.Beneficiaries:Target is 5,000 beneficiaries on vulnerable Atolls in RMI