16 Jul 2010

American Samoans struggling to feed families following cannery job losses

1:15 pm on 16 July 2010

Some families in American Samoa are struggling to feed their children as unemployment rises as more jobs go from the territory's critical tuna canning industry.

Catholic Social Services Director Cecilia Solofa says she can't understand how Lieutenant Governor Faoa Aitofele Sunia can say the economy is alright.

The Lieutenant Governor addressed the Fono on Monday calling for unity as American Samoa looks towards education and technology to keep its economy running.

But Mrs Solofa says the agency is trying to help those who are desperate for work.

"They come to us for jobs. Where then do we find jobs for them? They have no employment skills. A lot of the family units are now broken, you know broken marriages, struggling single parents are trying to deal with these economic issues."

Cecilia Solofa says people who are not American Samoan citizens are particularly hard hit with many turning to alcohol and crime.