Marshall Islands:

Status of the Nuclear Claims Trust Fund

NSIAD-92-229: Published: Sep 25, 1992. Publicly Released: Sep 25, 1992.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the status of the Marshall Islands' Nuclear Claims Trust Fund, focusing on whether the trust fund: (1) was being distributed as required; and (2) is adequate to meet the distribution requirements.

GAO found that: (1) disbursements from the trust fund began in early 1987; (2) through April 1992, $88.4 million had been distributed, with $67 million going to the four atolls most affected by the testing program and $17.2 million for a health care program; (3) due to delays in setting up adjudication procedures, only $3.2 million of the $16.5 million allocated for medical and property claims had been distributed; (4) the trust fund should be adequate to make the payments required by the agreement, but the trust fund is not achieving the expected 12.5-percent investment return and may be nearly depleted when the 15-year term is completed; (5) if the trust fund is depleted, medical and property claim awards could remain partially unpaid; (6) separate trust funds for each of the four atolls have been established with disbursements for the trust fund and will continue to grow, and could be worth a combined total of over $129 million by 2001; and (7) food assistance and medical care are being provided to the four atolls, and two scientific surveys have been initiated to help determine the extent of radiation.

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