Peilapalap, Pohnpei: August 4, 2023 – Governor Oliver welcomed Sarah Lou Ysmael Arriola, International Organization for Migration (IOM) Regional Director for Asia and the Pacific, to Peilapalap. Regional Director Arriola was accompanied by IOM Chief of Mission Salvatore Sortino and IOM-Micronesia local staff, Mr. Dudley Lorrin and Mr. Warren Ching.



Previously, Ms. Arriola was the Undersecretary (Vice-Minister) for Migrant Workers’ Affairs of the Department of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of the Philippines. Her work involved the repatriation of hundreds of thousands of distressed nationals who were caught in wars, natural disasters, victims of abuse or stranded due to economic hardships and the recent pandemic.



During their discussions, Ms. Arriola explained that this is her first visit to Pohnpei and most of the North Pacific region, she extended continued support and coordination from IOM. She spoke of areas that IOM can assist with include climate change, skills training and labor mobility. IOM Chief of Mission Sortino shared updates on IOM ongoing projects in areas like women’s empowerment and capacity building for disaster preparedness. Governor Oliver warmly welcomed Ms. Arriola, Chief Sortino and staff. He shared some of Pohnpei’s priorities and challenges, noting that Pohnpei is going through an interesting time with the amended compact of free association and some of the challenges deal with public service employment, capacity building, and the loss of residents who are migrating to greener pastures in the U.S.A. Governor Oliver looked forward to coordinating with the IOM staff to see how their programs can address Pohnpei’s priorities and challenges.



The meeting was an introductory one that provided a platform for sharing ideas and concerns. Governor Oliver looks forward to the continued partnership and collaboration of development partners, like IOM, for the success and betterment of the State of Pohnpei and the Nation.


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