8 Dec 2006

American Samoa receives funding to tackle substance abuse

5:06 pm on 8 December 2006

American Samoa is to receive six million U.S. dollars from a U.S. Federal agency to help reduce youth substance abuse in the territory.

The funding comes from U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

Governor Togiola Tulafono says he expects the substance abuse programme to begin next year with the grant covering the next five years.

It will be administered by the local Department of Human and Social Services as a three-fold initiative that will include teen alcohol prevention programs spearheaded by First Lady Maryann.

The governor says the program will also utilise district and village leaders and this can help resolve social problems in each village.

About 85% of the funding for the project goes to the community and the agency is now working to put in place the process of sub-granting to communities.