Donald Trump and his administration are abandoning the people of Puerto Rico by abruptly putting an end to delivering food and water. FEMA announced Monday that it will stop distributing emergency aid on Wednesday, January 31, at a time when at least one-third of the country is still without power, and many are still without running water.
“The Trump administration is abandoning American citizens in their time of need. The announcement that aid would end on January 31 is both heartbreaking and shows an absolute lack of respect for fellow citizens,” said Caroline Rowland, senior spokesperson for the Florida Democratic Party.
NPR, 1/29/2018, FEMA To End Food And Water Aid For Puerto Rico
“In a sign that FEMA believes the immediate humanitarian emergency has subsided, on Jan. 31 it will, in its own words, “officially shut off” the mission.”
“Some on the island believe it’s too soon to end these deliveries given that a third of residents still lack electricity and, in some places, running water.”
“In Morovis, a municipality located in the island’s lush, mountainous interior, Mayor Carmen Maldonado said that about 10,000 of her 30,000 residents are still receiving FEMA’s food and water rations,” and “While the government reports that island-wide, nearly a third of Puerto Rican customers still lack electricity, Maldonado estimated that in her municipality that figure is more like 80 percent. She said that has forced families to shift their spending priorities in ways that have made FEMA’s food and water aid a critical lifeline and the expectation that her residents simply resume their normal shopping routines impracticable.”
The Atlantic, 1/29/2018, After Four Months, Much of Puerto Rico Still Dark and Damaged
“Approximately 450,000 of Puerto Rico’s 1.5 million electricity customers are still without power, and those who do have electricity suffer frequent blackouts.”
“The tremendous destruction has resulted in a cascade of further problems, including job losses, foreclosures, a decrease in neighborhood police presence and a resulting increase in violent crimes.”
AP, 1/29/2018 , Many Puerto Ricans adrift in US hotels after Hurricane Maria
“Maria destroyed between 70,000 and 75,000 homes and damaged an additional 300,000.”
“The effects of the storm included the widespread loss of power, which is still not restored in some places. Many businesses closed. ”
“FEMA says there are nearly 4,000 families, more than 10,000 people, receiving hotel assistance from the agency in 42 states because their homes in Puerto Rico are too damaged to occupy.”
“Marytza Sanz, president of Latino Leadership Orlando, which has been helping displaced families, said many don’t know where they will go after FEMA stops paying for their rooms.”