Tags: fema | puerto rico | aid | supplies

FEMA Ending Food and Water Supplies to Puerto Rico

Image: FEMA Ending Food and Water Supplies to Puerto Rico
Department of Homeland Security personnel deliver supplies to Santa Ana community residents in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria in Guayama, Puerto Rico, Oct. 5, 2017. (Carlos Giusti/AP)

By    |   Tuesday, 30 January 2018 01:59 PM

The Federal Emergency Management Agency said it will end its food and water aid for Puerto Rico — four months after the island was ravaged by Hurricane Maria, NPR is reporting.

FEMA officials announced they will officially end the mission on Wednesday. So far, FEMA said it has provided more than 30 million gallons of potable water and nearly 60 million meals to those in Puerto Rico, NPR reported.

According to NPR, the government estimated that a third of the residents are still without electric power and, in some areas, without running water. But FEMA claims only about one percent of those in Puerto Rico need the emergency water and food.

The remaining FEMA supplies will be turned over to the Puerto Rican government to finish distributing, NPR said.

"The reality is that we just need to look around, said Alejandro De La Campa, FEMA's director in Puerto Rico. Supermarkets are open, and things are going back to normal."

"If we're giving free water and food, that means that families are not going to supermarkets to buy. It is affecting the economy of Puerto Rico. So, we need to create a balance. With the financial assistance we're providing to families and the municipalities, they're able to go back to the normal economy."

But not all residents agree with the decision.

Carmen Maldonado, mayor of Morovis, a municipality located in the island's mountainous interior, said 10,000 of her 30,000 residents had been receiving water and food from FEMA.

"There are some municipalities that may not need the help anymore, because they've got nearly 100 percent of their energy and water back," she said. "Ours is not so lucky."

But FEMA Public Affairs Director William Booher said the agency will continue to help the people of Puerto Rico.

"FEMA will continue to support any identified needs and will provide supplies to volunteer agencies and other private nonprofit organizations who are working with households in rural, outlying areas to address ongoing disaster-related needs as power and water is gradually restored.

"The commercial supply chain for food and water is re-established and private suppliers are sufficiently available that FEMA-provided commodities are no longer needed for emergency operations.

"FEMA will continue to support the government of Puerto Rico to meet the needs they identify."

Meanwhile, FEMA said more than 3,000 displaced residents of the island are living in hotels across 40 states on the mainland, according to CNN.

They have their eligibility for transitional housing re-evaluated every 30 days, the news network reported.

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The Federal Emergency Management Agency said it will end its food and water aid for Puerto Rico - four months after the island was ravaged by Hurricane Maria, NPR is reporting.
fema, puerto rico, aid, supplies
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2018-59-30
Tuesday, 30 January 2018 01:59 PM
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