The House Committee on Foreign Affairs has voted unanimously on a bill to increase United States funding for educational opportunities for Pacific people.
The Bill put forward by American Samoa Congressman Faleomavaega Eni Hunkin provides one million US dollars per year for the next two years, for exchanges with Pacific countries carried out under the educational and cultural exchange programs of the State Department.
This is a continuation of the US-South Pacific Scholarship Program which has been funded in recent years at 500-thousand per year.
The US Agency for International Development will also provide government's with technical and other assistance on request.
A programme with the US Department of State and the Fulbright Educational Exchange, will also establish awards for students from Pacific Island countries to to study in the US.
Pacific Island countries are defined as the Cook Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, the Independent State of Samoa, Tonga, Niue, Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Kiribati, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau, Vanuatu, the Solomon Islands, and Tuvalu.