Hurricane Maria blew away roofs, uprooted lives and laid bare a corrupted and decayed energy grid. But one thing it did not do was diminish Puerto Rico's determination, grit and sense of purpose.
Today, 90 days after María hit P.R., we are resolute to continue with our mission. Together we are on the road to restore, rebuild and reimagine Puerto Rico.
Immediate relief is only the beginning.
The distribution of supplies to people in need have reached all 78 municipalities of P.R. via our Distribution Centers.
Week after week the relentless work of the volunteers has been amazing.
We continue to impact communities that still lack basic needs such as housing, drinkable water and electricity.
The PRRF has kept a pace of weekly distribution efforts with the help of partners like the New York State, Unicef, UPS, Kimberly Clark, Univision Network and Plaza Provision Company.
As a result, we are about to reach the 2 million pounds milestone in distribution.
Support of humanitarian missions.
Unsung Heroes: The people of Puerto Rico
Puerto Ricans from all walks of life have organized and identified specific needs in hard-hit communities. With your help, we have assisted and joined in missions with groups of doctors, students, nurses, teachers, universities, churches, families and more.
The PRRF has provided thousands of pounds of provisions and first response items to hundreds of civic missions since Hurricane María hit the island. We are fortunate to have contributed to empowering our families and communities who have been helping each other since day one.
Advocating for Puerto Rico
In the past few weeks, CNE staff has met with Congressional leaders, as well as members of the Government of Puerto Rico, to advocate in favor of a fair allocation of federal funds for the recovery work needed to jumpstart our economy. In specific, we have requested the next tranche of supplemental appropriations include the following priorities as a down payment toward the recovery and rebuilding of Puerto Rico:
- $15 billion in additional supplemental appropriations be provided immediately through the Community Development Block Grant Disaster Relief (CDBG-DR) program so that Puerto Rico can initiate programs to address the needs of the island’s housing stock. In addition, we support the government’s request for an additional $2.3 billion to address immediate infrastructure needs.
- Significant funding for Medicaid programs in Puerto Rico be appropriated to avoid a wide-scale health crisis in the island and to tamper down on migration to the mainland. In specific, we support the Governor’s request for $11.35 billion in Medicaid funding to (1) cover 100% of the program’s cost for the next 24 months and (2) maintain the current funding level of $1.6 billion per year for the three years immediately subsequent to that initial period.
- Finally, we seek that language be included to amend the Stafford Act to allow the island to build back better, in a robust and resilient manner, and to invest in pre-disaster mitigation programs aimed at minimizing the damage and the cost of future disasters.
This Disaster Relief Supplemental Bill will reach Congress this week.
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