Congressman Faleomavaega announced today that the conference report accompanying H.R. 2996, legislation making appropriations for the Department of the Interior, environment, and related agencies for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2010, and for other purposes, now includes $1.2 million in technical assistance for American Samoa for tsunami relief. Both the House and Senate are expected to approve the conference agreement on H.R. 2996, which provides funding for Operations, Covenant Capital Improvement Project (CIP) and Technical Assistance to American Samoa
“The conference agreement specifies $1.2 million under Technical Assistance to be used by the Secretary of the Department of Interior (DOI) to assist American Samoa with recovery from the catastrophic tsunami which hit the islands on September 29, 2009. And I want to extend my gratitude to the conferees for recognizing the need to help the people of American Samoa recover from the tragic tsunami of September 29. This assistance is critical to rebuild the affected villages and communities in American Samoa, and I want to again thank the conferees for their support,” Faleomavaega said.
“As in previous years, the American Samoa Government (ASG) will also receive $22.8 millions in government operation funds from the Office of Insular Affairs (OIA) for the fiscal year 2010 (FY2010). Government operation funds help ASG provide basic services such as health care, education, public safety, and support for the judiciary. The objective is to promote self-sufficiency, therefore, the amount remains constant throughout the years and ASG absorbs the costs of inflation or costs associated with the growing population in our Territory. Currently, ASG operation funds represent approximately 11-percent of ASG’s General Fund revenue and 29-percent of the LBJ Hospital’s revenue. Remaining funds are allocated to basic operations and the High Court.”
“In addition, ASG will get $9.3 millions in Covenant Capital Improvement Project (CIP) grants for FY2010. CIP funding addresses a variety of infrastructure needs in American Samoa including hospitals, schools and wastewater systems. In addition, CIP funds also provide improvements that are critical to providing the framework for economic development in our Territory.”
“While the House and the Senate have yet to vote on the conference agreement, I am grateful to the Federal government for all that it has done to provide for the needs of the people of American Samoa,” Faleomavaega concluded.