FACT SHEET: Deepening U.S. Partnership with Samoa

July 23, 2023

Second Gentleman Douglas Emhoff's visit to Samoa on July 24 demonstrated renewed U.S. commitment to deepening our relationship with Samoa, our close neighbor, partner, and friend. The United States and Samoa enjoy strong bilateral relations based on shared values and mutual trust. Our close cultural, economic, and historical linkages, including with the U.S. territory of American Samoa, translate into strong people-to-people ties. The United States will continue to partner with Samoa on combating the climate crisis, promoting inclusive and sustainable development, protecting maritime resources, and building people-to-people ties. President Biden and Vice President Harris announced in 2022 numerous commitments to increase our diplomatic and development presence and expand assistance to the Pacific Islands region. This included returning the Peace Corps to Samoa and other Pacific Island countries in 2023. Our relationship with Samoa is moving to new heights as the U.S. government has committed to appointing a resident ambassador there for the first time in our 52 years of diplomatic relations.

Building Resilience to Climate Change and Natural Disasters:

The Pacific Islands including Samoa are highly vulnerable to climate change and recurring extreme weather events and natural hazards—such as droughts, earthquakes, floods, storms, tsunamis, and volcanic eruptions. During his visit to Samoa, the Second Gentleman announced $2.6 million in new funding from USAID's Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance (USAID/BHA) to implementing partners CARE and Catholic Relief Services (CRS) to expand disaster risk reduction and resilience programming across a number of countries in the Pacific region including Samoa. In Samoa, CARE is working with local farmers to improve resilience to disasters through the Women in Business Development Inc. (WIBDI) organization and to ensure disaster messaging is available to persons with disabilities through the Nuanua O Le Alofa (NOLA) organization. Since 2020, USAID/BHA implementing partner CRS and its local partner in Samoa, Caritas, have worked to strengthen disaster preparedness for effective response, through the pre-positioning of emergency relief supplies in Samoa.

Building Tsunami Ready Communities in the Pacific:

Tsunamis are no-notice, fast-onset natural hazards that can cause catastrophic impacts. With 70% of the world's tsunamis occurring in the Pacific, it's vital that effective early warning systems are in place to prompt preemptive evacuations that can save lives and minimize economic loss. As a part of a USAID-funded partnership with the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)t, the Second Gentleman announced that NOAA's International Tsunami Information Center (ITIC) will provide training and subject matter expertise, tools, services and materials to facilitate the implementation and sustainability of Tsunami Ready communities in the Pacific. In Samoa, NOAA is committing $171,000 to support activities to strengthen Samoa's National Tsunami Ready Program, including tsunami hazard risk assessment and inundation mapping and community preparedness and response, evacuation mapping and response planning, signage, awareness-raising, tsunami warning, and exercising. Tsunami Ready helps to save life and livelihoods from tsunamis and other coastal hazards through planning, education and awareness.

Doug Emhoff, FACT SHEET: Deepening U.S. Partnership with Samoa Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/363712

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