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  • Writer's pictureKVZK TV

Am Samoa to donate $500,000 for Maui releief efforts

American Samoa stood in solidarity to lend a hand to residents of Hawaii who were affected by the wildfire on Maui, as evident in the one-week Maui humanitarian relief drive, an initiative by the American Samoa Government, that ended last Saturday.

Businesses, churches, organizations, villages, families, and public servants raised $243,861, and the government matched it with $256,139, which equates to $500,000.

Senate President Tuaolo Manaia Fruean spoke at the closing ceremony on Saturday and announced the Legislature's donation of $10,000.

He said this is not the first time the people of American Samoa have come together for a similar purpose, and it's a blessing to witness our territory's steadfast support for another island in need.

We extend our sincerest gratitude to the people of our territory for their unity and generosity, standing firm for the people of Maui in their time of need.

Secretary of Samoan Affairs Mauga Tasi Asuega spoke on behalf of the government to thank everyone who lent a hand, whether monetary or goods.

The efforts rendered are commendable. The official death toll in Maui remains at 115, as reported by media outlets in Hawaii. An early estimate projects that $5.5 billion will be needed to repair damaged areas in West Maui — and the economic revival of a tourism-dependent island.

Hawaii’s Governor Josh Green confirmed that 6,000 displaced residents stayed in Maui hotels, while another 1,100 are in Airbnb rentals. Rental assistance will last for 18 months, he said.

The American Red Cross gives residents meals, mental health support, and financial help. The Federal Emergency Management Agency has provided approximately $19 million in aid.

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