Watch President Barack Obama announce ways the federal government can help economically challenged communities through five new "Promise Zones" during a press conference at 2:20 p.m.

President Barack Obama ( Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Obama was to discuss the zones today during a White House event. It's part of his effort to focus on income inequality in the lead-up to his State of the Union address this month.

The White House says tax incentives and grants can help communities tackle poverty, giving children better chances at success. By applying federal funding in targeted areas, Promise Zones aim to bolster education, access to housing and crime-reduction programs.

Obama first announced the initiative during last year's State of the Union but is just now revealing the first zones to be selected. They're in San Antonio, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, southeastern Kentucky and the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma.

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