America's Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, says the US Agency for International Development will return to the Pacific with a new office in Fiji and $US21 million ($NZ27.8m) in aid.
She made the announcement today in Hawaii on the first stop of a two-week, 10-nation Asia Pacific tour, the ABC reported.
Mrs Clinton will also visit New Zealand, Australia, American Samoa, and Papua New Guinea in the Pacific, and Indonesia, Vietnam, China, Cambodia, and Malaysia in Asia .
Speaking at the East West Centre in Honolulu, Ms Clinton clarified the importance Washington is placing on the Pacific region.
"We are working through the Pacific Island Forum to support the Pacific island nations as they strive to really confront and solve the challenges they face."
Those challenges ranged "from climate change to freedom of navigation".
"To that end, I'm pleased to announce that USAID would return to the Pacific next year, opening an office in Fiji with a fund of $US21 million to support climate change mitigation." (Some would also call it an attempt to check growing Chinese financial aid, and political influence, in the South Pacific - which often earns backing for UN resolutions.)
Since the 2006 coup, Fiji has been suspended from the Commonwealth and the 16-nation Pacific Islands Forum and has been hit with sanctions by the European Union and countries including the United States, Australia and New Zealand.
But American Samoa's member of the US Congress, Eni Faleomavaega, earlier this year warned that the "inept policies and heavy-handed actions" of the New Zealand and Australian governments in the Pacific were putting American interests in the region at risk.
He is reported to have told Mrs Clinton that "heavy-handed tactics and misguided sanctions" used by Wellington and Canberra politicians had hurt average Fijians far more than the coup government.
Mr Faleomavaega, who chairs the Congress subcommittee on Asia, the Pacific and the Global Environment, warned the interests of Australia and New Zealand sometimes diverged significantly from those of Washington, and that their "foreign policy elites" wrongly viewed the region with a eurocentric mentality.