Home >Economic Cooperation> Japan's Development Assistance Policies

Economic Cooperation

◆Project Planning for Palau

Basic Policy: Achievement of sustainable economic development with consideration to the environment and improvement of the people's living standard.

Priority Area 1: Environment and Climate Change

Development Issue 1-1: Environmental Protection

【Background and current situation】
Assistance from Japan helped the M-Dock Waste Dump to improve into a semi-aerobic system (Fukuoka method). It is now operated by Bureau of Public Works, while the Congress approved the National Solid Waste Management Plan (NSWMP). However, there still remain challenges in sustainable and appropriate operation and maintenance (O&M) of the existing site and in planning for a new disposal site. Container Deposit System, which was introduced in 2011, has successfully enticed the private sector into the recycling of cans and bottles, and the next step will be to improve its financial management. In addition, sorted collection and recycling of items other than cans and bottles should also be promoted through improved collection system and 3R (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle) education.

Action Plan Meeting for Micronesia Challenge (MC) was held in December 2006 and it was agreed that 30% of the marine areas and 20% of the terrestrial areas in 3 countries (Palau, FSM, RMI) and 2 territories (Guam and CNMI) in the Micronesia region should be declared as Protected Areas. In order to achieve this objective, Protected Areas Network (PAN) Act was established to have the national government assist in the management of the Protected Areas, which have traditionally been maintained at a state level.

Environmental studies such as coral reef monitoring of Palau International Coral Reef Center (PICRC) have been enjoying a regional reputation. The Center needs to pursue financially self-supporting operation of its research and education activities due to the limited budget that could be allocated by the government.

Japan will assist Palau’s policy-making process in implementation of NSWMP, which is the fundamental policy of solid waste management. The support for improved O&M of the existing disposal site and planning for a new site will also be continued. 3R should be promoted through public education and Japan has been providing necessary materials and equipment for that purpose.

Japan will also assist PICRC and their partners to conduct monitoring of the PAN sites and other activities to achieve MC, while promoting environmental awareness among citizens through advocacy and educational programs at PICRC.

<Program for Sound Material Cycle Society in small island countries>
Japan will continue to consult Palau for planning of NSWMP, support improved O&M of the disposal site and promote 3R. In addition, Japan seeks to enhance public awareness in nature conservation through educational activities. Sustainable O&M of water and sewer system will also be supported.

・Project for Promotion of Regional Initiative on Solid Waste (TCP)
・Training Courses for Improvement of Solid Waste Management (TR)
・Volunteer for Improvement of Solid Waste Management (JOCV)
・Installment of Solar-Powered Desalination Plant(ML)

<Program for Natural Environment Conservation>
Based on the achievements of a technical cooperation project “Coral Reef Monitoring Enhancement Project,” Japan will assist capacity development of PICRC in coral reef monitoring and support PAN and MC to promote nature conservation. A SATREPS program “Sustainable management of coral reef and island ecosystem; Answering the threat of climate change” is aimed at establishing an inventory and database of coral reef and coastal ecosystem based on environmental and biological survey, as well as compiling scientific policy recommendations for sustainable regional development. Japan will also continue to dispatch volunteers to enhance public awareness in environmental protection.

Prevention of water pollution caused by Explosive Remnants of War (ERW) will be supported through Japan NGO Cooperation Grants.

・Sustainable Management of Coral Reef and Island Ecosystem; Answering the Threat (STC)
・Follow-Up Cooperation for the Project of Construction of Palau International Coral Reef Center (F/U)
・Volunteer for Environment Conservation (JOCV)
・Explosive Remnants of War (ERW) Clearance in the Sea of Koror State (JNGA)

Development Issue 1-2: Climate Change

【Background and Current Situation】
Climate change is a critical and urgent issue for small island countries like Palau. There are increased interest and expectations in renewable energy in the nation, and National Energy Policy Framework 2009 targets to support 20% of electrical power source with renewable energy source and reduce energy usage by 30% by 2020.

Japan will continue to assist in diversification of energy sources by introducing renewable energy such as solar power, as well as in climate change adaptation and mitigation such as reduction of greenhouse-effect gas emission. The other assistance includes application of renewable energy to infrastructure such as water & sewer systems, installment of solid waste management buildings and facilities in conjunction with maintenance capacity development, and efforts towards energy-saving targets.

<Introduction and Promotion of Clean Energy Program>
Japan will consult Palau in introduction of solar power generation facilities and their O&M. Its assistance also seeks to reduce fuel cost and green-house gas emission through improvement of energy efficiency and demand side management.

・Volunteer for Renewable Energy (SV)
・Training Courses on Renewable Energy or DMS (TR)

Priority Area 2: Overcoming Vulnerability

Development Issue 2-1: Strengthening Foundation for Economic Development

【Background and Current Situation】
Improved infrastructure is critical for economic development, especially for Palau, as the government aims at tourism-led private sector development and increased foreign investments. In the past, assistance under the trusteeship of USA and from other donors contributed to the infrastructure development in Palau. It is important to support Palau not only from material aspects such as construction of new economic infrastructure, but also from intangible aspects such as establishing preventive maintenance system.

The large public sector is one of the notable aspects of the Palauan economy, which has been funded by the direct financial assistance of USA. A majority of the labor force has worked for the public sector since the independence. Stimulation of the private sector and employment structure reform will be critical tasks for the future as US assistance is planned to gradually decrease in the future. As Palau does not have sufficient experience and expertise in the private sector, assistance in vitalization of the private sector is needed, especially in tourism, the major industry of Palau.

Japan provided large generators to Palau as a grant to stabilize the power supply. Assistance in installing socioeconomic infrastructure that enables sustainable development will be continued. Preventative maintenance system shall also be established through capacity development such as dispatch of technical advisors/volunteers and provision of training courses. Technical cooperation in infrastructure development and O&M of water & sewer system is also planned as it is another important factor for economic development focused on tourism. Training programs will continue to be the main assistance in the tourism sector.

<Economic and Social Infrastructure Development and Improvement of Management and Maintenance Program>
Japan will continue to contribute to infrastructure development and O&M capacity development.

・Expert for Electric Power Supply Improvement Advisor (EXP)
・Project for Enhancing Power Generation Capacity in the Urban Area (GA)
・Water Supply Improvement Program (PS)
・Volunteer for Installation and O&M of Socioeconomic Infrastructure (JOCV/SV)
・Training Courses for Economic Infrastructure Development and Improvement of O&M (TR)

<Industry Development Program>
Japan will assist in creation of employment opportunities and improvement of livelihoods through promotion of tourism in a broad sense.

・Volunteer for Industry Development (JOCV/SV)
・Training Courses for Industry Development (TR)
・Fisheries Development (OFCF)

Development Issue 2-2: Improvement of Medical and Health Services

【Background and Current Situation】
In Palau, it is difficult to provide quality medical services due to the chronic shortage of human resources. Additionally, the number of patients suffering from non-communicable diseases (NCD) such as heart disease and diabetes is increasing due to the drastic change in diet, heavily dependent on imported food. Not only is NCD a serious health issue, but also has been a major burden to the medical finance. Thus, it is necessary not only to improve the quality of medical services and clinical management capacity, but also to enhance comprehensive preventative health care including diet and exercise.

In health sector, with Global Health Policy 2011-2015 into consideration, Japan’s assistance seeks to promote preventative health care and improvement of medical services by capacity development through dispatch of volunteers and related training courses. Equipment will also be provided through Grassroots Grants for Human Security Project (GGP) for sustainable improvement of medical services.

<Small-Island Medical and Health Program>
Japan’s assistance aims at human resource development in diverse fields to maintain a long-term program against NCD through volunteer dispatch and training programs. It also seeks to improve the quality of medical services with small-scale but long-run programs to provide equipment.

・Volunteer for Improvement of Island Area Medical Service (JOCV/SV)
・Training Courses for Improvement of Island Area Medical Service (TR)
・Improvement of Functions of Belau National Hospital (GHGA)

Development Issue 2-3: Development of Educational Capacity

【Background and Current Situation】
Palau’s education system follows the American one and consists of 8-year elementary education and 4-year secondary education. Palau Community College is the only tertiary education institute in the country and provides 3-year courses. It has been recognized through achievements evaluation tests that many students face challenges in math and science. In primary education, a certificate program was established for unlicensed teachers in 2006 and the license became a requirement to teach at schools, but there are still some who have not taken the course. Improved teaching capacity is important as a new Singapore Math Curriculum was introduced in 2011. “Brain drain” to other jobs and countries is significant as the wages of teachers are relatively low, which poses challenges to consistent teachers trainings. In addition, the use of English textbooks is preventing adequate understanding of lower-grade students who need assistance in the Palauan language.

Therefore, a holistic reform of the education system is needed such as introduction of systematic teaching methods for elementary and secondary education, improvement of teachers training system and development of supplemental teaching aids. It is also needed to strengthen the partnership between Ministry of Education (MOE) and schools for planning and implementation of practical educational policies, and enrich varieties of teaching materials and develop teachers' capacity through voluntary workshops. Existing long-term Education Plan calls for improvement of school facilities, but more time is needed for its implementation. There are educational facilities that need assistance for improvement with focus also on aspects other than intellectual education.

In education sector, with Palau Education Master Plan 2006-2016 and Education Assistance Policy 2011-2015 into consideration, Japan will continue to dispatch volunteers to schools. Assistance to teachers through improvement of teaching methods and development and promotion of annual teaching plan will be provided in order to enhance the quality of education and ensure a basic level of understanding among students. Placement of volunteers in MOE will be continued to support revising education policies, as well as enhancing communications between MOE and schools in collaboration with volunteers placed in schools. Japan also encourages teachers’ participation in regional trainings and seminars to experience high quality education to enhance their capacity. Improvement of school facilities will be one of the main focuses of GGP.

<Educational Assistance Program in Small-Island and Remote Areas>
Japan will continue to place volunteers in schools to assist teachers in teaching, as well as in developing and promoting annual teaching plan and supplemental teaching aids, to improve the quality of education and ensure students’ basic level of understanding.

Japan supports enhancement of cooperation between schools and the government through continued placements of volunteer in MOE. Region-focused trainings and regional seminars will be provided for teachers to experience high quality education to enhance their capacity.

・Volunteers for Remote and Islands Areas Education Support (JOCV/SV)
・Training Courses for Remote and Islands Areas Education Support (TR)
・Improvement of Educational Facilities (GHGA)


TCP (Technical Cooperation Project)
EXP (Expert)
TR (Issue-based Training / Training Program for Young Leaders)
STC (Science and Technology Cooperation on Global Issues)
JOCV (Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers)
SV (Senior Volunteers)
F/U (Follow-up Cooperation)
PS (Preparatory Survey)
GA (Grant Aid)
GHGA (Grassroots Human Security Grant Aid)
JNGA (Grand Aid for Japanese NGO's Projects)
ML (Multilateral Cooperation)