APIA: 7 Oct 2009 – The US Chargé d’Affaires in Apia, Arnold Campbell today reiterated the US Government’s commitment to assisting the Pacific Islands affected by the Tsunami as he presented Independent State of Samoa Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Honorable Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi with a US Government relief aid grant.
Mr. Campbell said that today’s grant of WST $251,900 (USD $100,000) underscores the US willingness to help and that the US stands ready to respond to additional needs as they are identified by Government of Samoa.
“We’re in constant communication with the Government of Samoa and other regional governments about the best way we can work together to assist the victims of the Tsunami,” Mr. Campbell said.
He further emphasized President Obama’s and Secretary Clinton’s sympathy for those affected by the disaster and their continuing support for the Government and people of Samoa as they work to recover from this tragedy.
Prime Minister Tuilaepa expressed the gratitude of the government and people of Samoa for the grant, as it would help a long way to assist Samoans who have lost their homes and families.
Chargé Campbell made note that the Embassy was also in contact with various US NGOs in the country offering humanitarian support such as Samaritan’s Purse and South Pacific Business Development.
“Coordination and cooperation are key. As in any disaster we have to look to address the unexpected chaos in as effective and coordinated manner as possible. We need to address the real needs of people who have lost so much.”
US efforts in American Samoa are also ongoing with the Federal Emergency Management Agency in close and constant contact with emergency responders, and the US Coast Guard fully supporting the deployment of resources to those areas in need of immediate assistance.