Earlier this week, Puerto Rico and other islands in the Caribbean were disastrously struck by Hurricane Fiona. As of Thursday, over a million people in Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic are still without running water or electricity, and 2,260 homes have been destroyed in the initial storm.
“We stand in unity and solidarity with the people of Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, and all other islands effected by Hurricane Fiona.” said Ramon Peguero, Esq., President & CEO of the Committee for Hispanic Children & Families. “On the heels of the COVID-19 pandemic, this disaster threatens to exacerbate learning loss for children yet again.”
The impact of Hurricane Fiona is compounded by the long-lasting damage of Hurricane Maria, which struck Puerto Rico in 2017 and caused the longest lasting electricity blackout in United States history. Over 3,000 deaths are attributable to Hurricane Maria, a disaster that exposed severe vulnerabilities in the healthcare system and an unjust, imbalanced relationship with the U.S..
President Biden approved an official disaster declaration on Wednesday that opens up federal funding opportunities and “can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster.” CHCF commends the Biden administration for acting expeditiously to open up relief opportunities to the people of Puerto Rico.
CHCF stands in solidarity with Hispanic Federation and UnidosUS in supporting the victims of this hurricane.