Washington’s Responsibility To A Devastated Puerto Rico
A flattened Puerto Rico and how Washington is looking out—or not—for the U.S. territory.
Puerto Rico has taken a devastating hit in the path of Hurricane Maria. Homes and infrastructure flattened. Electrical grid, flattened. Now water and food and gas, all in short supply. People really in trouble. Puerto Ricans are Americans. Are they getting the kind of backup we’ve seen after hurricanes hit Houston and Florida? The kind of support? This hour, On Point: We are turning to Puerto Rico in its hour of need to ask what’s being delivered. — Tom Ashbrook.
Barry Bosworth, senior fellow in the Economic Studies Program at the Brookings Institution.
From Tom’s Reading List
Politico: Puerto Rico’s governor calls for greater federal response to Maria —”Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rossello called on the Pentagon to provide more search-and-rescue help and humanitarian resources to help the beleaguered island recover from “complete devastation” from Hurricane Maria.”
Washington Post: ‘If anyone can hear us…help.’ Puerto Rico’s mayors describe widespread devastation from Hurricane Maria — “The mayors greeted each other with hugs and tears, and they pleaded with their governor for some of the things their communities need most: drinking water, prescription drugs, gasoline, oxygen tanks and satellite phones. The entire population remains without electricity. Families everywhere are unable to buy food or medical treatment. Roads remain waterlogged, and looting has begun to take place at night.”
New York Times: Puerto Rico’s Agriculture and Farmers Decimated by Maria — “There will be no food in Puerto Rico,” Mr. Rivera predicted. “There is no more agriculture in Puerto Rico. And there won’t be any for a year or longer.”
How To Help Puerto Rico
At this time, many organizations are asking for cash as opposed to supplies so they can put resources where they’re needed most. Here are five groups running large campaigns where you can donate:
- United For Puerto Rico (this campaign is being led by the First Lady of Puerto Rico)
- Hispanic Federation
- Save The Children, a campaign focusing specifically on the needs of families and their children
- Global Giving, which has a $2 million goal for victims of Hurricane Maria
But, if you do have supplies that could be appropriate to donate, check this guide from Puerto Rico’s government.
That’s not all — the government is asking those with Internet access to spread awareness. Because there are still major power outages that could last for months, officials are asking people to contact the State Department to report US citizens in Puerto Rico who need emergency assistance. You can do so here.
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