The U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Insular Affairs announced $2,973,247 in fiscal year 2022 (fiscal 2022) funding for the Technical Assistance Program and the Maintenance Assistance Program for Island Support American Virgins (USVI). Funding provided to government, non-profit and semi-autonomous organizations will be used to support goals such as streamlining business processes across government agencies, empowering former inmates for successful reintegration into the community, building telehealth capability, electrical maintenance and distribution training, and more.
“The federal investments we are making in the Virgin Islands will help provide better opportunities in health care, economic development, and improve capacity building and resilience of local public services,” said the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State. Island and International Affairs, Keone Nakoa. “The funding will also be used to improve government business processes in the territory to support government for efficiencies that we hope will support improvements for all Virgin Islanders.”
Technical Assistance Program grants totaling $1,473,247 will be awarded to various governmental and non-governmental organizations as follows:
- $500,000 to the Association of State and Territory Health Officials to help the USVI government improve and streamline interagency business processes for more effective and efficient management of federal grant funds for the territory.
- $500,000 to the Virgin Islands (VI) Economic Development Authority to renovate and repair the J. Antonio Jarvis Complex, a historically significant structure in St. Thomas that will contain an arts and civic center and serve as an anchor for community revitalization.
- $499,550 to the VI Bureau of Corrections to design a reintegration program that will merge best practices, evidence-based models, and a range of personal, behavioral, educational, and workforce development services and activities. necessary to equip detainees with essential knowledge and skills for successful return and reintegration into the community.
- $269,106 to the VI Water and Power Authority (WAPA) for cybersecurity training to protect WAPA’s IT infrastructure network that runs power plants, transmission and distribution, including financial and utility operations. customer service.
- $294,719 to the Schneider Regional Medical Center for the installation of a telehealth information system to connect patients with physicians in remote locations (such as specialists on the mainland) and improve overall internal and external health communications and telemedicine.
- $159,872 to the VI Department of Planning and Natural Resources to develop a pilot scallop aquaculture program that can build on local expertise and explore potential commercially viable options for the territory.
The Maintenance Assistance Program provided the following grant:
$750,000 – Virgin Islands Water and Electricity Authority (WAPA) for training and maintenance of substations and underground electrical installations to ensure safe and reliable operations. WAPA has moved a large majority of the electricity transmission and distribution infrastructure to underground facilities to minimize the impacts of hurricanes and other natural disasters on electricity distribution.
For more information about the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Office of Island Affairs, go to www.doi.gov/oia. For specific information on grants awarded by the Office of Insular Affairs, visit www.grants.gov and search for Federal Domestic Help Catalog #15.875.
The Assistant Secretary for Insular and International Affairs and the Office of Insular Affairs (OIA) carries out the responsibilities of the Secretary of the Interior for the U.S. territories of American Samoa, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
In addition, the OIA administers and oversees federal assistance under the Covenants of Free Association to the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and the Republic of Palau. The OIA also operates a discretionary technical assistance program for all island areas.
Find information about the OIA and its work at www.doi.gov/oia or on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.