Torres lauds FEMA, fed partners for disaster relief appropriation

Posted on Aug 16 2019


Gov. Ralph DLG Torres thanked federal partners last week for working with CNMI leaders on the additional supplemental appropriations for recovery projects and programs listed under H.R. 2157, which was recently signed into law by President Donald J. Trump.

At the recent Federal Emergency Management Agency Region IX Pacific Partnership Meeting in Hawaii, Torres was invited by FEMA to speak on resiliency in the Pacific, as well as the ongoing recovery efforts on Saipan and Tinian. 

“FEMA has been such an instrumental partner throughout this whole recovery effort, and they have worked directly with us to make our case with our other federal partners, Congress, and the White House to bring additional funds to the Marianas to rebuild stronger and better,” Torres said.

Under H.R. 2157, the CNMI specifically received $25.2 million for disaster nutrition assistance through fiscal year 2020 to provide more food assistance for families still recovering during this time. 

In addition to $36 million in Medicaid funding, the CNMI also received $2 million in technical assistance from the Office of Insular Affairs, $56 million for hazardous waste financial assistance and solid waste management, and $10.4 million for drinking water facilities and water treatment plants.

Under the supplemental appropriation, the CNMI became eligible for a share of about $11.4 billion that is to be divided by states and territories affected by hurricanes Florence, Michael, and Lane, as well as Typhoon Mangkhut, and Super Typhoon Yutu. The CNMI is eligible under appropriations available for Yutu and Mangkhut.

Torres noted that the CNMI and FEMA have already begun plans and discussions on new project worksheets and other resources to avail of funding under the shared disaster fund.

“Lt. Gov. [Arnold] Palacios and I have mobilized our department heads and first responders to dedicate grant managers, teams, and staff to these grant applications, so that we can maximize the amount of available federal funding for our recovery,” Torres said.

“These projects will be toward new infrastructure, medical facilities, training and employment, family assistance, and so much more to help the Marianas recover,” he said. “We have a great partnership with FEMA and our federal partners, and our government continues to work very hard to build our beautiful islands stronger and better.” (PR)

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