Puerto Rico's 'Humanitarian Crisis Will Deepen' Without More Aid, Warns Governor in Letter to Congress

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It’s been more than three weeks since Hurricane Maria tore through Puerto Rico. A little over 10% of the island has power and while President Trump throws paper towels at a crowd of displaced people hoping to absolving his blatant disregard for a colonized nonvoting island, congress has yet to approve a relief package for any of the American communities affected by hurricanes this season.

Puerto Rico’s Governor Ricardo Rosselló, who has played nice with the Trump administration despite the president’s best efforts to blame the island for its current crisis, wrote a letter to congress on Tuesday pleading with them to provide more federal emergency aid beyond what the Trump administration has already requested.

“We are grateful for the federal emergency assistance that has been provided so far. However, absent extraordinary measures to address the halt in economic activity in Puerto Rico, the humanitarian crisis will deepen, and the unmet basic needs of the American citizens of Puerto Rico will become even greater,” wrote Rosselló.


Assessment of the damage will cost in the range of $95 billion, Rosselló said citing independent analysis. His request to congress was a little more than $4 billion and included $3.2 million in community development grants, $500 million in community disaster loans, $500 million in social services grants, and $149 million in emergency relief.

Read Rosselló’s full letter below:


On Tuesday afternoon, the Associated Press reported that the White House had requested an additional $5 billion in aid specifically for Puerto Rico. Congress is expected to vote on the White House’s initial request for $29 billion in FEMA funding next week. In September, congress approved a $15 billion package for Hurricane Harvey relief.