A special commission on economic opportunity has been created in the Northern Marianas to root out the problem of widespread poverty.
The commission will be led by the Lieutenant Governor Ralph Torres.
Following the devastation caused by Typhoon Soudelor this year, the commission will map the causes and systemic nature of poverty in the CNMI and review existing laws, regulations and policies of government agencies.
The government says low-income households are especially vulnerable to displacements and are least able to access safe housing after natural disasters like Soudelor.
The government said in 2013 more than 8,000 households made less than the annual salary of a full-time employee on minimum wage.