Official White House Photo by Katie Ricks

(WASHINGTON) — When second gentleman Doug Emhoff lands in Samoa on Monday he will announce the administration’s commitment to provide more funding from the United States to the Island.

It will be the first time in U.S. history a senior White House official has ever visited Samoa.

Emhoff will announce the administration will provide $2.6 million, according to the White House. The funding will come from USAID’s Bureau of Humanitarian Assistance and the funding will seek to increase disaster risk reduction in Pacific region countries including Samoa.

Emhoff is in New Zealand representing the U.S. delegation at the FIFA Women’s World Cup.

The second gentleman will meet with Samoan officials and community leaders, according to Liza Acevedo, the second gentleman’s communication director.

“In particular, the Second Gentleman will highlight our shared work to address the climate crisis, enhance disaster preparedness, promote sustainable and inclusive economic development, and invest in the economic empowerment of women,” Acevedo said in a statement before the trip. “The Second Gentleman’s visit will underscore the strong U.S. relationship with Samoa and the commitment of the United States to the Pacific Islands.”

Earlier this year, the White House announced the Peace Corps will return to Samoa after its worldwide evacuation in early 2020 due to the global pandemic.

The White House also committed to placing an ambassador in the country – for the first time in 52 years, working to strengthen ties in the Pacific.

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