A Message from GIA on the Crises Impacting Puerto Rico

Five years after the devastation of Hurricane Maria, Hurricane Fiona has caused catastrophic destruction in Puerto Rico, killing at least two people and leaving nearly the entire island archipelago without power and water. Below you will find opportunities to lend your support to Puerto Rico.

Post-Maria, the US federal government set aside billions for reconstruction, but communities in Puerto Rico remain vulnerable. Puerto Rico’s vulnerability stems from a combination of factors, including the Fiscal Control Board’s requirement that Puerto Rico privatize its power grid.

The Fiscal Control Board’s oversight of Puerto Rico’s budget is an element of the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management, and Economic Stability Act (PROMESA). PROMESA is a US federal law enacted in 2016 that established a US financial oversight board for Puerto Rico, a process for restructuring debt the Puerto Rican government owed to corporate creditors. The FCB's approved fiscal austerity plan for 2017-2026 cut deeply into Puerto Rico's public service budget, including cuts to health care, pensions, and education, in order to prioritize repaying corporate creditors.

Puerto Rico’s vulnerability is also rooted in its status as a US territory with no electoral votes for the presidency and no voting representation in Congress. Puerto Rico has an advocate in the U.S. Congress, who has no voting authority. At a Congressional hearing less than a week before Hurricane Fiona, Puerto Rico’s non-voting congressional representative questioned the effectiveness of Puerto Rico’s privatized electric grid, considering its history of poor performance, and whether it should even remain in the hands of a private company.

Grantmakers in the Arts joins friends across the nation in a call for our federal government to cancel Puerto Rico’s debt, and end private oversight of its budget to ensure that Puerto Rico may recover in the spirit of self-determination.

Ways To Give in Support of Puerto Rico:

Information on Puerto Rico:

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