Trump OKs CNMI Disaster Declaration

Commonwealth gets more federal assistance
Posted on Apr 03 2020

Federal emergency aid is now within reach of the CNMI, following President Donald J. Trump’s declaration yesterday that a major disaster exists in the Commonwealth.

With the declaration, the CNMI gains access to more resources as the government intensifies efforts to mitigate the threats of COVID-19.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency informed Gov. Ralph DLG Torres that the aid is now available to supplement the Commonwealth and local recovery efforts in areas affected by the COVID-19 pandemic beginning on Jan. 20, 2020.

FEMA Region IX administrator Robert J. Fenton will serve as the federal coordinating officer for federal recovery operations in the affected area.

“Lt. Gov. [Arnold] Palacios and I are sincerely grateful for the continued support and assistance from the White House and FEMA,” the governor said. “We’ve been working closely with [Trump, Fenton], and the White House as they reviewed my request for a major disaster declaration for the CNMI.”

According to the Office of the Governor, the funding is available “to the territorial and eligible local governments, and certain private nonprofit organizations, on a cost-sharing basis for emergency protective measures (Category B), including direct federal assistance under Public Assistance, for all areas affected by COVID-19 at a federal cost share of 75 percent.”

The governor’s additional requests, such as access to the Individual Assistance and Hazard Mitigation Grant programs, are still being reviewed by FEMA and the White House.

Iva Maurin | Correspondent
Iva Maurin is a communications specialist with environment and community outreach experience in the Philippines and in California. She has a background in graphic arts and is the Saipan Tribune’s community and environment reporter. Contact her at
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