Image above: Devastation in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria; source: CNN
I don’t generally voice this type of message through the FAVELissues platform, but at this moment, I feel it is necessary to raise awareness and ask for help.
As many of you now there have been several destructive hurricanes that have hit the Caribbean, as well as southern parts of the US:
- Hurricane Harvey in Houston,
- Hurricane Irma hit Florida and deeply affected Antigua and Barbuda, St Kitts and Nevis, the Dominican Republic, Haiti and US Virgin Islands
- Hurricane Maria struck Puerto Rico and Dominica
Particularly with the Caribbean, though some responders are on the ground, there has been little support, and in some cases very little to no awareness, for the situation on the islands.
My hope here is simply to share a quick update so there is more awareness of the situation on the ground, as well as a couple of links if you decide to directly support the ongoing efforts. That said, I want to reference you to an IFRC report- I know that in the relief phase, this is an effective organization that already has some boots on the ground and can respond/has been responding quickly and effectively: https://media.ifrc.org/ifrc/2017/09/22/hurricane-overview-damage-irma-maria-left-behind/
Particularly related to Puerto Rico, my extended family is from there and lives in the island. Contrary to the erroneous depiction coming recently from the US President, Puerto Ricans are beautiful, good spirited and resilient people. I have been dumbfounded and disgusted by the lack of support and lagging response coming from the Federal government, not to mention the politicization that was privileged over savings lives.
We are now seeing a completely preventable death toll rising leading to a deeper humanitarian crisis due to lack of basic medicines, potable water, food, and increasing public health issues created by the lack of power, stagnant water, etc.
Things have now started to improve in the relief front, yet it is important to continue to keep Puerto Rico and the other Caribbean islands in mind. Recovery reconstruction takes time; it takes quite a bit of capital and resources to ‘build back better’…and this is very difficult to do without lasting support.
Following are some organizations working on the ground:
Red Cross (Caribbean affected islands, you can select the destination of the support)
Oxfam (Caribbean affected islands)
Save the Children (Dominican Republic and Haiti)
Unidos for Puerto Rico (created by the First lad of PR to disperse to operational branches and entities aiding in the relief effort):