OAN’s Elizabeth Volberding
11:35 AM – Thursday, November 8, 2023
Hawaii Governor Josh Green announced that there will be a $150 million fund called the Maui Recovery Fund, dedicated to those who lost family members or were severely wounded in the recent wildfires.
On Wednesday, Green (D-Hawaii) declared that over $150 million had been dedicated to a fund that will provide more than $1 million each to the victims of the August 8th wildfires in Maui who have been severely wounded or lost family members.
The August 8th wildfires that occurred in Lahaina took the lives of at least 99 individuals and destroyed over 2,000 buildings. There are also more local residents from the area who are still missing, although they are presumed to be dead.
Green’s statement from the State Capitol on Wednesday was delivered on the three-month anniversary of the August 8th wildfires that demolished Lahaina and killed at least 99 individuals.
“Participating in the Maui Recovery Fund will be completely voluntary and the goal is to get as much money as possible to go to affected families as quickly as possible, cutting out delays, and eliminating uncertainty,” Green announced, highlighting that the fund is structured after the 9/11 victim compensation donation developed to help families who lost loved ones in the 2001 devastation.
The $150 million fund is developed through the support of partners, including the State of Hawaii, Maui County, Kamehameha Schools, and Hawaiian Electric, according to Green. He added that he expects additional organizations and individuals to help with the fund in future weeks.
“In the coming weeks we expect many other organizations across Hawaii and individuals will join this collaboration to support those affected and help them recover,” Green said. “Our message should be clear — in Hawaii in difficult times we come together to help one another, and right now, we are coming together, to help those that have suffered the most.”
The fund is involved in an extensive program called the “One Ohana Initiative,” which involves recovery plans that have been launched by Hawaii or created as part of various initiatives to help the entire state, according to a news release from the Governor’s Office.
Green stated that the funding will be provided to those eligible as soon as the second quarter of 2024.
Those who decide to receive money from the fund will have the opportunity to waive their ability to issue legal action associated with the claims.
Wildfires in Kula and Olinda destroyed hundreds of acres and wrecked at least 19 homes. West Maui and Upcountry are still in the process of cleaning up the remnants.
On Tuesday, the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) began clearing debris from large a private property in Kula. Additionally, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) started removing dangerous materials from Lahaina’s commercial properties last week.
Green mentioned an agreement with President Joe Biden and his administration that would work to ensure that the federal funds will provide 100% support with the debris cleanup and the emergency protection measures in all affected areas.
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