18 Mar 2010

American Samoa tsunami donations remain unspent

4:23 pm on 18 March 2010

Nearly six months after the September earthquake and tsunami, the American Samoa government has still not spent a cent of the donations from individuals, businesses and organizations for victims of the disaster.

The more than half a million US dollars, collected both locally and overseas, is sitting in a bank account overseen by the Territorial Office for Fiscal Reform.

Politicians such as Senator Galeai Tuufuli says the government is taking too long to give out the money.

Easter Bruce, who is in charge of the Recovery and Relief Program, says efforts are being made to put together criteria and an application process for the disbursement of the funds.

But the Senator says this isn't necessary and assessment about the victims' needs can be made quickly without them having to complete paperwork.