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:
- María Fund
- María Fund’s Fiona Community Response Fund
- Taller Salud
- Hispanics in Philanthropy’s Fiona Community Response Fund
- Hispanic Federations’ Unidos Disaster Relief & Recovery Program to Support Puerto Rico
- Filantropía Puerto Rico’s FORWARD Puerto Rico Fund
- Filantropía Puerto Rico’s Philanthropic Call to Action Towards a Just & Resilient Puerto Rico
- Puerto Rico's Community Foundation Community Recovery Fund for Puerto Rico
- Puerto Rico Woman's Foundation Emergency Fund
- Global Giving Hurricane Fiona Relief Fund
Information on Puerto Rico:
- Latino Rebels: Hurricane Fiona Batters Puerto Rico Still Recovering 5 Years After María
- Politico: Fiona’s Outages Rekindle Anger Over Puerto Rico’s Privatized Electric Grid
- The Washington Post: Puerto Rico’s Bankruptcy Is Ending: What Comes Next?
- MSNBC: Puerto Rico’s New Bankruptcy Plan Does Nothing for Most of the Island
- Common Dreams: Critics Warn Puerto Rico Debt Plan Will Leader to More Austerity
- Open Society Foundations: The Right Way to Help Rebuild Puerto Rico
- The Center for Popular Democracy: Organizing for a Just Recovery in Puerto Rico and Beyond
- Latino Rebels: Lin-Manuel Miranda, Others Seek Silver Lining in Puerto Rico
Please continue to share resources with us by emailing Eddie@GIArts.org