The United States (U.S) has reaffirmed support for the Peoples’ Coalition Government’s development priorities to enhance democracy, boost economic growth, improve food security, empower women and youth; and enhance access to water, health and education.
This was conveyed to Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka during a courtesy call from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Administrator Samantha Power.
Administrator Power said the United States recognizes Fiji as a leader and important partner in advancing a free and open Pacific emphasizing that, “presence matters” which is the primary reason for USAID opening the new regional Office in Fiji.
“We aim to strengthen the message of the U.S. government’s long-term commitment to the Pacific. We will continue to listen to our Pacific partners on how to use our presence effectively.
“We will continue to deliver on Pacific priorities together.”
“Our relationship is based on mutual respect; shared history; and common values of strength through diversity, fairness, and freedom,” Power said.
She reaffirmed the United States commitment to strengthen cooperation with Fiji at all levels of development.
“The U.S and Fiji enjoy a long, shared history and close relationship that is being strengthened by the opening of the USAID/Pacific Islands regional Office.”
“Today, USAID and Fiji are working toward shared development goals across a variety of sectors.”
In appreciation of Fiji and the U.S renewed cooperation and strong friendship, Power presented a Hawaiian Koa paddle to Prime Minister Rabuka.
Inscribed on the paddle is the Hawaiian proverb – Ho’okahi ka ‘ilau like ana (‘wield the paddles together’).
Prime Minister Rabuka thanked the United States for their timely support in establishing the new USAID Pacific Islands Mission in Fiji, which will strengthen USAID’s ability to deliver results on bilateral and regional development priorities.
He welcomed the renewed commitment by the United States to increase its presence in the region to further advance ongoing cooperation and conveyed the best wishes of the Government and the people of Fiji to President Biden and the American people.
The new USAID/Pacific Islands Office will employ 31 staff by August 2024; 24 in Fiji and seven from neighboring Pacific Island countries.