Priorities of the People: Hardship in The Federated States of Micronesia

Publication | September 2004

The poor performance of the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) economy, a growing gap between rich and poor, and increasing numbers of landless or land-poor people have made poverty and hardship daily issues at the household level.

To better understand the needs and views of those facing hardship in the FSM and develop programs to alleviate it, the government undertook a Participatory Assessment of Hardship from late 2003 to early 2004.

People from all sectors of society, including the poor, were asked to describe poverty and hardship from their point of view and suggest priority actions to address their concerns. Interviews were held at the household level, and focus group discussions and workshops were held with communities and at the national level.

The results of this assessment are presented, along with photographs and personal stories.


  • Introduction
  • Is Hardship Really a Problem in the FSM?
  • What is Hardship?
  • Who is Facing Hardship?
  • What Causes Hardship?
  • What Can Be Done?