29 Sep 2006

Marshalls gets US education funding late

1:32 pm on 29 September 2006

Officials in the Marshall Islands say an annual multi-million dollar US grant for education is a year late arriving, and is smaller than the ministry anticipated.

US officials say the delay was caused by faults on both sides.

The initial delay was caused by the US Congress which did not approve the grant until December 2005, three months after the October 1st start of the financial year 2006.

Then, a dispute over inflation adjustment further delayed matters.

The adjustment would have boosted the grant from its 2005 level of 6.1 million to 6.2 million for 2006.

By February, the Marshalls had agreed to submit a revised funding plan for 5.9 million but did not send the plan to the U.S. until June.

Further delays within the American bureaucracy meant the plan was not agreed until August at the annual meeting of the committee which approves all Compact funding for the Marshall Islands.

Marshall Islands officials are still arguing that the Compact guarantees them 6 point 1 million a year adjusted for inflation through to 2023.