The U.S. Department of the Interior announced that $55 million in emergency funding under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act is available to U.S. territories and freely associated states.
Douglas W. Domenech, DOI assistant secretary for Insular and International Affairs, has formally invited the territorial governors and FAS presidents to submit requests for funding under the CARES Act program.
The $55-million federal grant will fund efforts to combat Covid-19 in Guam, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, U.S. Virgin Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Marshall Islands and Palau.
“President Trump continues to fight every day for the American people, mobilizing all public and private sector resources to combat the coronavirus,” said Interior Secretary David Bernhardt. “These funds will provide critical support for families in the territories and the freely associated states. 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 available for the territories and the freely associated states 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.
The grant is broken down as follows: Guam ($12 million); USVI ($7.86 million); American Samoa ($4 million); CNMI ($4 million); FSM ($7.74 million); RMI ($3.89 million); and Palau ($1.59 million).
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, please visit the OIA website at https://www.doi.gov/oia/financial-assistance.