Biden extends 100% federal cost share for FEMA through the end of the year
Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — Earlier this year, U.S, President Joe Biden directed the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to increase the federal cost share for COVID-19 Public Assistance funding from 75 percent to 100 percent. This memo built on a previous memo issued in January and included specific language making the increase to 100 percent retroactive to January 20, 2020 with the ending set for September of this year.
Now, according to a press release from the Governor’s Office — this 100% cost share has been extended through December 2021.
“This extension is a great benefit for all of American Samoa and its people,” Director Lisa Tuatoo of the Office of Disaster Assistance and Petroleum Management (ODAPM) said.
“Fighting COVID-19 is a collaborative effort between government and the private sector stakeholders. These funds will be a great help in assisting with vaccination distribution and public assistance. I want to commend the COVID-19 Task Force and GAR for their continued support and efforts in preparing American Samoa to open borders and defend against COVID-19,” Tuatoo said.
Acting Gov. Talauega Ale offered his appreciation to the U.S. President for extending such a critical need during the increase in surges across the nation. As American Samoa prepares to open its borders, the American Samoa Government is committed to utilizing all the resources needed to keep it safe from COVID-19.
“Remaining COVID-19 free is the best possible scenario for any state or territory; however, as we make preparations to open up our borders, this will increase the risk that cases will reach our shores. Sooner than later. As a result, all of our emergency first responders and public health officials are looking at how to properly and safely assess, contain, and limit the spread of COVID-19 as soon as it presents itself.”
“Once again, I must encourage all residents of American Samoa who are eligible to receive the vaccination, to go and get vaccinated. You will be doing your part in defending our territory, and you will be saving the lives of those who are not eligible to receive the shots,”
“I also want to commend U.S. Congresswoman Uifaatali Amata in all her efforts in supporting American Samoa as we continue to work towards reopening our borders. The Congresswoman has been working diligently in creating opportunities for American Samoa to receive assistance in building up our local infrastructure, increasing public assistance, and plans for improving our healthcare facilities,” the acting governor said.
(Source: Governor’s Office press release)