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MAJURO@ONLINE March 29, 2002
Things seem a bit backwards in the Marshall Islands in the economic development area. Money is generally readily avialible for development projects in the Marsahll Islands - what's lacking is people coming forward with projects to develop the local economy. In one example, the RMI government is a member of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). The Ministry of R and D has established relations with the FAO to enable Marshall Islanders to access a small grant program. In development jargon, the aim of the small grant program is to improve "food security", which means improving the amount and quality of food available to local populations.  RandD Secretary Fred Muller said that this FAO funded small grant program " is geared toward grassroots/communtiy projects." The funding is relatively small, limited to about $10,000 per gratn. But for tan outer islands porjcet, that level of money is substantial. In the first 18 months that the program has been available, howerver, just six grant request have been submitted. "We, (RandD) help facilitate the proposal, " Muller said. R&D as well as the Ministry of Finance's office of International Development Assistance have helped to prepared the six proposals that have been submitted for funding. The six proposals have been related to home gardening and animal husbandry. "Fisheries is inclued, but we have't yet had any requests for funding fisheries projects," said Muller. ....