Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander populations are disproportionately getting infected with COVID-19 within Riverside County. As of July 16, 2020, there are 1,023 confirmed cases of COVID-19 for every 100,000 NHPI, which is greater than any other ethnic group within the Inland Empire.
For more information, see Riverside County’s COVID-19 statistics
Obstacles to Assistance
Tongan Americans face obstacles that limit their access to government and local assistance. In the face of these barriers, MALO is connecting the Tongan community to local resources and support.
- 19% of Tongans in the United States had limited English proficiency (A Community of Contrasts 2014).
- There are limited translators for the Tongan language for government resources.
- Individuals cannot access resources like unemployment assistance without translators.
- Government assistance programs cannot reach a large number of foreign-born Tongans because of their citizenship status.
- 35% of Tongans living in the United States were foreign-born from 2006 to 2010 (A Community of Contrasts 2014).
- Many individuals have compromised immigration statuses that disqualify them from programs.