Washington: The White House on Tuesday announced new actions including additional funding and a cross-agency initiative to curb the alarming rise in violence and discrimination against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) during the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Today’s announcements are additional steps in the Biden Administration’s work to advance equity for Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander communities through a whole-of-government approach to racial justice,” the White House said, Xinhua news agency reported.
Joe Biden to appoint permanent Director
According to a White House fact sheet, President Joe Biden will “appoint a permanent Director to lead the Initiative in the coordination of policies across the federal government impacting Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander communities.”
As part of the initiative, the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department reconvened its Hate Crimes Enforcement and Prevention Initiative with a focus on the surge in anti-Asian hate crimes in the country.
The FBI will also publish a new interactive page that documents hate crimes against the AAPI community and begin holding training events to educate agents on recognizing and reporting anti-Asian bias.
Assistance to AAPI survivors
The Department of Health and Human Services is providing nearly $50 million from the American Rescue Plan to assist AAPI survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault.
The Covid-19 Health Equity Task Force, founded in January, has also established a subcommittee on Structural Drivers of Health Inequity and Xenophobia, the White House said. This subcommittee will be specifically focused on combating the surge in anti-Asian bias during the coronavirus pandemic.
The National Endowment for the Humanities also launched a virtual library to expand resources and provide information on Asian-American history.