Date: January 15, 2016
Contact: Tanya Harris Joshua 202-208-6008
WASHINGTON, D.C. – This week the Department of the Interior Assistant Secretary for Insular Areas Esther Kia’aina released $18.3 million remaining in grant assistance for fiscal year 2016 to the American Samoa Government through the Office of Insular Affairs’ (OIA) Operations Grant Program. These funds are what remained of the annual $22.75 million needed to support the daily operations of the American Samoa Government, the LBJ Tropical Medical Center, the American Samoa Community College, and the High Court of American Samoa. The purpose of this program is to fund the difference between budget needs and local revenue and remains constant each year to support government operations.
“These funds are critical to supporting the operating costs of the judiciary, the hospital, and the public schools for the American Samoan government,” said Assistant Secretary Kia’aina. “Interior has a long history with American Samoa and we are pleased to support Governor Lolo and the people of American Samoa.”
The Department of the Interior is responsible for coordinating federal policy with respect to the territories of American Samoa, Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and administering and overseeing U.S. federal assistance provided to the Freely Associated States of the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and the Republic of Palau under the Compacts of Free Association. The Office of Insular Affairs mission is to foster economic opportunities, promote government efficiency, and improve the quality of life for the people of the insular areas.