WASHINGTON, D.C.—The U.S. Department of the Interior has formally invited the governors of the territories and presidents of Freely Associated States to submit requests for funding made available through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security, or CARES, Act.
The $55 million in emergency relief funding is available to the territories and the FAS to prepare, prevent, and respond to the coronavirus disease, COVID-19, pandemic.
The island jurisdictions eligible for this funding are: American Samoa, Guam, the CNMI, the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and the Republic of Palau.
“These funds will provide critical support for families in the territories and the Freely Associated States,” said Douglas W. Domenech, assistant secretary for Insular and International Affairs. “As the President continues to say, together we will overcome this crisis and emerge stronger than before.
“We are pleased that the CARES Act includes this important support for the territories and the Freely Associated States,” said Domenech. “I have invited the insular area governors and the presidents to submit grant applications for this expedited funding immediately.”
“As President Trump said during his historic meeting with the presidents of the Freely Associated States, the United States has a unique, historic, and special relationship with each of these countries,” said Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Sandra Oudkirk. “We are committed and proud to support these close partners in meeting the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The CARES Act funds for the territories and the FAS will be managed through the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Office of Insular Affairs Technical Assistance Program. Funding is allocated based upon population by insular area. A reserve of $13.75 million has been set aside as a contingency in case of any unforeseen emergencies.
Guidelines and instructions on applying for these funds have been sent to the governors of each territory and to each FAS president. For general guidelines on how to apply for OIA TAP funding, visit the OIA website at https://www.doi.gov/oia/financial-assistance. (PR)