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Schatz: Hawai‘i To Receive More Than $1 Million To Support Targeted Outreach, Buy More PPE To Fight Pandemic In Pacific Islander Communities

WASHINGTON — Today, U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) announced that Hawaii will receive $1,033,100 to help respond to the COVID-19 pandemic among Pacific Islanders. This grant will support community outreach programs in Pacific Islander languages to help families navigate health resources. The new funding will also be used to purchase more personal protective equipment (PPE) and cleaning supplies for Pacific Islander communities.
“This grant will help us ramp up targeted community outreach to Pacific Islander families so that they can get the care and resources they need to stay safe,” said Senator Schatz, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee. “Our Pacific Islander communities have been among the hardest hit by this pandemic, so we’ll keep fighting for more federal resources that can help save lives.”
This funding, which comes from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, will support the ongoing COVID-19 response work of We are Oceania. This local nonprofit provides culturally and linguistically appropriate community engagement to help eliminate barriers to health services and resources for Pacific Islander families.
Pacific Islander communities have been disproportionately hit by the pandemic. According to data from the Hawai‘i Department of Health, Pacific Islanders in Hawaii make up 31 percent of all COVID-19 hospitalizations in the state, despite being just 4 percent of the state’s population.