Puerto Rico Recovery Fund

Immediate Relief
is a Long Road

You can help restore, rebuild and reimagine Puerto Rico

The Puerto Rico Recovery Fund has worked on three strategic and interrelated areas since 2017, after the extensive devastation caused by Hurricane Maria on Puerto Rico:

1.    Addressing immediate humanitarian needs
2.    Advocacy efforts in San Juan and Washington DC, to ensure maximum federal support and efficient resource coordination
3.    Medium and long-term economic development with a focus on resiliency.

In January 2020, the island experienced a 6.4 earthquake that affected the lives and infrastructure in the southwest coast of the island. Aftershocks have continued to impact the area keeping residents anxious and helpless. These disasters have battered an already struggling island hampered by a massive public debt burden and a lack of socioeconomic opportunities.

The Center for a New Economy (CNE) is collaborating in the ongoing assistance and recovery efforts by leveraging our coordination capabilities, on-the-ground knowledge, strategic support networks and policy advocacy skills. Our commitment to rebuilding and retrofitting our physical and socioeconomic infrastructure is steadfast. Right after Hurricane Maria, we embarked in supporting the ReImagina Puerto Rico project that conducted seventy-seven dialogue sessions with 748 stakeholders, identified six cross-cutting strategies and 97 actionable recommendations in the areas of Energy, Physical Infrastructure, Natural Infrastructure, Housing, Economic Development and Health, Education & Social Services.  Currently, ReImagina, a CNE program, works to make sure that these recommendations –that community groups, experts, students, business people and professionals agreed upon– are implemented for the immediate and long-term benefit of all Puerto Ricans.

CNE has championed the cause of a more productive and stable Puerto Rico for over 20 years, as an independent, non-partisan think-tank with a reputable track record. CNE will continue to propose and advocate for systemic solutions in the most critical areas of Housing, Energy, and Economic Development during the reconstruction process.

Your support and help are much needed now. Join this effort. Give generously. 

Our Impact

* Over 2,007,000 pounds out of the total cargo delivered has been handed over to other institutions.

Updates

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Dear friends,

Many of you have reached out over the past couple of weeks to see how we are faring at CNE after the recent earthquakes and to ask about contributing to our efforts.

First of all, I want to let you know that all at Team CNE are safe and working diligently despite the obvious anxiety that natural events like these provoke. The networks and leadership of the Puerto Rico Recovery Fund’s Distribution Centers were reactivated to coordinate and assist in the immediate relief of affected communities. We have also been actively supporting our partners at Send Relief as they provide thousands of hot meals to the increasing number of people displaced by the earthquake damage and living in shelters.

       

Our main focus, however, has been on leveraging our considerable networks and influence to marshal resources, policy and otherwise, to achieve long-lasting solutions to Puerto Rico’s most urgent problems.

Immediately after the first earthquakes, the CNE D.C. team contacted multiple congressional offices and shared an assessment of on-the-ground dynamics, serving as a communication link between the federal government and the people of Puerto Rico. In addition to providing information, CNE D.C. assisted in developing appropriate responses to the challenges that may emerge from unpredictable aftershocks or another significant disaster. The work has resulted in congressional pressure for the timely approval of a major disaster declaration, the release of withheld recovery funds, and a reconsideration of Puerto Rico’s fiscal plan. CNE reports have been cited by congressional offices in support of many of these efforts.

Furthermore, due to the complexity of the reconstruction process and current dire fiscal situation of the island, we amplified our communication capacities in order to provide key insights and analysis as a trusted independent source of information for the media, both local and international.

As it happens, just months earlier, we hosted a day-long conference for journalists in Puerto Rico on the reconstruction landscape. Appropriately enough, part of the event included a session on how journalists could cover another islandwide blackout.  Little did we know the situation would so quickly reoccur.

In light of the current crisis, our Reimagina program has redoubled its efforts to ensure the implementation of its recommendations for Puerto Rico’s disaster management and reconstruction process. These recommendations were built on consensus and address the concerns of a wide range of stakeholders—including community leaders, scholars and professionals—and seek to guarantee a just and inclusive recovery for the island.

We have also determined to bring together many of our core policy proposals from our Blueprint Housing Program, our Black Start Energy Initiative and the ReImagina platform under a new framework we are calling Living with Risk.

Beyond preparing for and devising solutions to deal with different disasters, we seek to define a vision for “living with risk” in Puerto Rico across all of our research areas. This involves adopting a comprehensive understanding of risk that takes into account the complex interplay between hazards and vulnerabilities, recognizing that exposure to risk is not the same for everyone. This framework will guide us as we articulate policy recommendations, devise planning efforts and design projects on-the-ground.

We will highlight how these new ideas and proposals will contribute to Puerto Rico’s growth and reconstruction process in our Reconstruction Summit, which will take place this Spring.

With your support, we will to continue to deepen our role as a fundamental agent in the economic recovery and social transformation of our island.  I invite you to become an active supporter of our efforts and Puerto Rico’s reconstruction.


Mike Soto-Class
President, Center for a New Economy

As many of you are aware, Puerto Rico is now under a Hurricane Watch as Tropical Storm Dorian heads our way. The latest National Weather Service advisories have Dorian passing with hurricane storm winds 20 miles to the south of the Island on Thursday.

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The Puerto Rico Recovery Fund has been busy over the last two years helping our distribution centers prepare for any natural disasters and we are ready to confront this new threat with enhanced telecom and power capacities.

Unfortunately, this latest storm comes at a time in Puerto Rico where we are still reeling from the changes brought about by the “Summer of 2019,” most significant of which was the resignation of our Governor as a direct consequence of the pressure from the hundreds of thousands of Puerto Ricans protesting what they saw as a corrupt and bigoted government.

I believe Puerto Rico is much more prepared now than it was two years ago to face a storm, and Dorian seems to be a minor one—certainly relative to María. But we are also laboring under a reality where around 30,000 homes still use blue tarps they received after Irma and María caused widespread roof damage, and about half of the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority’s generation units are in question.

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So we stay vigilant and ready to act. Our distribution centers are on alert. We recently reviewed the PRRF’s Emergency Response Plan with them to ensure that their communities are as prepared as possible for Dorian’s arrival.

CNE’s Washington, DC office has been working tirelessly during the last two years to, among other things, make sure Puerto Rico gets the disaster relief funds it needs. As our Federal Disaster Funding Update for Puerto Rico shows, we’ve faced an uphill battle against the slow disbursement of federal aid, an issue we discussed in detail in another recent Policy Brief: Puerto Rico’s Unfinished Business After María.

Please know that with your continued support, the Puerto Rico Recovery Fund will stand ready to respond to any of the needs and challenges that this or future natural disasters bring upon our Island.

Very truly yours,

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Miguel A. Soto-Class
President and Founder
Center for a New Economy

Note: Feel free to click on the + > icons for more photos and videos. To fully appreciate this report we recommend that you view it on a desktop.

Created during the darkest moments of Hurricane María’s aftermath –when the collapse of the island’s infrastructure made everything seem short of impossible –the Puerto Rico Recovery Fund (PRRF) was borne out of a conscious decision to address the colossal challenges posed by Puerto Rico’s critical situation.

The Center for a New Economy and Espacios Abiertos had the human capital, resources and strong networks that allowed to structure and execute one of the largest relief efforts in Puerto Rico. So, without emergency relief experience, but with a deep-rooted conviction that Puerto Ricans had to lead the island’s relief and reconstruction efforts, the PRRF delivered more than 4.1 million pounds of water, food, medicines and critical supplies. Today the PRRF continues to work on the medium and long-term recovery and advocacy goals established since its conception.

The incredible strength of the human spirit and the work of every single person that joined this effort resulted in a significant impact on Puerto Rico’s recovery. Enclosed above, you will find the PRRF’s Impact Report which summarizes our efforts, experiences and achievements.

We thank you for your trust and support during this journey!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This week marks the six-month anniversary of one of the worst disasters in the history of Puerto Rico. Hurricane María brought about much trauma and devastation and now it is sometimes difficult to discern what was previously existing but unattended precariousness and what is the result of devastation brought about by wind and water.

Sadly, in many places in Puerto Rico it seems as if time has stood still and the storm passed just yesterday.

The Puerto Rico Recovery Fund has striven from the beginning to differentiate ourselves and to hold true to our values. This allowed us to be the first to move. We went directly to communities and non-governmental organizations overpassing the ineffective and, at that point, mostly catatonic government institutions. We emphasized work over publicity and self-congratulation. We bought our food locally so as to not harm the local economic ecosystem.  And from the beginning, when it had yet to become fashionable, we dedicated time and resources to the long-term recuperation and renovation of the island both through the CNE Growth Commission and through the founding of the Resilient Puerto Rico Advisory Commission.

We are proud of what we have helped accomplish. We were able to set up within days of the hurricane a sophisticated logistics operation with ten distribution centers and corresponding satellites all over the island. 

This in turn allowed us to deliver almost four million pounds of critical supplies, to coordinate thirty humanitarian flights, ship and distribute almost one hundred containers, save hundreds of jobs through our small business grants, reignite many closed non-profit organizations, set up mobile service centers with satellite Wi-Fi for FEMA applications, and impact hundreds of thousands of people in each and every one of the seventy-eight municipalities in Puerto Rico.  Not bad for a small group of young people who at the time labored without power, gasoline and telecommunications.

We also activated our office in Washington, DC, spending hundreds of hours coordinating and undertaking dozens of meetings in Congress and with Executive Branch agencies.

Puerto Rico now enters the second act of this great tragedy.  It is the period where, as we have seen repeatedly in disasters all over the world, the same army of experts, consultants and celebrities come. It is important that as we gratefully receive the help that comes from all those with good intentions, we simultaneously remain alert for those who come for treasure and not for service.

I must admit to you that during these last six months it has been difficult to summon up optimism.  But I must also tell you that we have never lost our enthusiasm. We continue to work, not because we see a light at the end of the tunnel, but because we don’t. We continue to toil not because it’s easy but because it is the right thing to do. 

The Puerto Rico Recovery Fund is now expanding and creating a new line of work related to preparation for the upcoming hurricane season which begins June 1st.  Hard to believe but that is just weeks away! We will be developing trainings and seminars for our distribution partners and others to draft preparedness plans, increase the resiliency of their facilities, develop business continuity plans for their organizations, and establish an overall better coordinated resource strategy.  God forbid another storm hits Puerto Rico, this time we will be better prepared.

I never want you to forget that no matter how far you are, no matter what amount you contributed, this is your story.  If you supported our work, whether by money, or sweat or prayers, then our accomplishments are your accomplishments.

We could never have succeeded in any of this had it not been for all of you and for the extraordinary team of Puerto Rico Recovery Fund staffers, volunteers and major partners that unselfishly dedicated so many endless hours to the effort, sometimes in the stifling heat, and many times in the deepest darkness.

Puerto Rico has new challenges and opportunities ahead.  It will require from each of us an open but discerning mind and the willingness to come out of our comfort zones.  There is no doubt in my mind that there are better days ahead for Puerto Rico.  But it will not occur automatically or by magic.  We could delay it, or indeed prevent it, if we don’t put in the effort.

I believe we are up to the task.  Your generosity and support are the best evidence that we have.

¡Gracias, y recuerda siempre que Puerto Rico es
UNA GRAN CAUSA!

Miguel A. Soto-Class
President and Founder
Center for a New Economy

Hurricane Maria blew away roofs, uprooted lives and laid bare a corrupted and decayed energy grid.  But one thing it did not do was diminish Puerto Rico’s determination, grit and sense of purpose.

Today, 90 days after María hit P.R., we are resolute to continue with our mission. Together we are on the road to restore, rebuild and reimagine Puerto Rico.

Immediate relief is only the beginning.

The distribution of supplies to people in need have reached all 78 municipalities of P.R. via our Distribution Centers.

Week after week the relentless work of the volunteers has been amazing.

We continue to impact communities that still lack basic needs such as housing, drinkable water and electricity.

The PRRF has kept a pace of weekly distribution efforts with the help of partners like the New York State, Unicef, UPS, Kimberly Clark, Univision Network and Plaza Provision Company.

As a result, we are about to reach the 2 million pounds milestone in distribution.

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Support of humanitarian missions.

Unsung Heroes: The people of Puerto Rico

Puerto Ricans from all walks of life have organized and identified specific needs in hard-hit communities. With your help, we have assisted and joined in missions with groups of doctors, students, nurses, teachers, universities, churches, families and more.

The PRRF has provided thousands of pounds of provisions and first response items to hundreds of civic missions since Hurricane María hit the island. We are fortunate to have contributed to empowering our families and communities who have been helping each other since day one.

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Advocating for Puerto Rico

In the past few weeks, CNE staff has met with Congressional leaders, as well as members of the Government of Puerto Rico, to advocate in favor of a fair allocation of federal funds for the recovery work needed to jumpstart our economy. In specific, we have requested the next tranche of supplemental appropriations include the following priorities as a down payment toward the recovery and rebuilding of Puerto Rico:

  1. $15 billion in additional supplemental appropriations be provided immediately through the Community Development Block Grant Disaster Relief (CDBG-DR) program so that Puerto Rico can initiate programs to address the needs of the island’s housing stock.  In addition, we support the government’s request for an additional $2.3 billion to address immediate infrastructure needs.
  2. Significant funding for Medicaid programs in Puerto Rico be appropriated to avoid a wide-scale health crisis in the island and to tamper down on migration to the mainland. In specific, we support the Governor’s request for $11.35 billion in Medicaid funding to (1) cover 100% of the program’s cost for the next 24 months and (2) maintain the current funding level of $1.6 billion per year for the three years immediately subsequent to that initial period.
  3. Finally, we seek that language be included to amend the Stafford Act to allow the island to build back better, in a robust and resilient manner, and to invest in pre-disaster mitigation programs aimed at minimizing the damage and the cost of future disasters.

This Disaster Relief Supplemental Bill will reach Congress this week.

We urge you to share this with friends or family.

Help us spread the word of our mission: P.R. needs your help!

ONE FUND. THREE TRACKS.
AID. ADVOCACY. RESILIENT REBUILD.

As we continue working on all three simultaneously,
on the ground in Puerto Rico and in DC, in this week’s update
we share advocacy objectives and recommendations
for the resilient rebuild of Puerto Rico.

TREAT PUERTO RICO FAIRLY – Puerto Ricans are US citizens by birth. Funding provided through FEMA and the Community Development Block Grant-Disaster Recovery program should be allocated to Puerto Rico on terms and conditions no less advantageous than those applicable to the fifty states, including funding for hazard mitigation to ensure we minimize harm from similar events in the future.

LEVERAGE PRIVATE SECTOR FUNDS – In addition to providing Puerto Rico with its fair share of disaster recovery funding, Congress should legislate to encourage the private sector to actively participate in the creation of the new Puerto Rico. This could be accomplished by enacting a special private activity disaster recovery bonds program, similar to the Liberty Bonds program enacted after 9/11 and after hurricane Katrina. These bonds would be exempt from federal taxes on interest, including the Alternative Minimum Tax, which allows issuers to offer the bonds at lower interest rates. Proceeds from these bond offerings have been used in the past to finance broad reconstruction activities, including the rebuilding of utilities, hospitals, hotels, residential housing, and commercial real estate, among other uses. The private entity issuing the bonds is entirely responsible for their repayment.

SUPPORT A LOCALLY-LED RECOVERY AND PLANNING INITIATIVE – Congress should require that federal investments for recovery efforts are tied to a long range, comprehensive planning effort led by public, private and NGO stakeholders. Much like the efforts undertaken by the Louisiana Recovery Authority in the aftermath of hurricane Katrina, a task force should be established to oversee a series of planning exercises that define the guiding principles and policies for local redevelopment. Through such a coordinated planning platform, funding could be provided Puerto Rican civil society organizations to address the immediate and long-term needs of local communities, including improving local risk mitigation capabilities and fostering sustainable economic development.

ENCOURAGE LOCAL HIRING – Congress should direct federal agencies to hire residents of Puerto Rico and local organizations on a priority basis to ensure that disaster survivors participate in recovery activities and directly benefit from recovery funds. This is especially important given Puerto Rico’s high unemployment rate and low labor force participation. Furthermore, maximizing local hiring reduces the need to bring workers from the mainland, which is relatively expensive, and generates local economic activity that eventually leads to tax revenues for the government of Puerto Rico.

BUILD A 21st CENTURY ELECTRICITY GRID – As is already well known, Hurricane María devastated Puerto Rico’s electricity grid. The island’s government faces a monumental task: Puerto Rico has to reconstruct in a matter of months a complex transmission and distribution network that took seventy years to build. In this environment, it is foreseeable there will be pressure from different stakeholders to “turn on the lights” as quickly as possible and forget about improving the network or rebuilding it stronger to withstand future shocks. In our view, this short-term perspective, while understandable from a humanitarian perspective, runs against the best interests of the island. The President should approve and the Congress should fund the use of FEMA funds under Section 404 of the Stafford Act to substantially improve the electricity grid.

MEDICAID – In the short run, to help Puerto Rico address its urgent liquidity crisis, the federal government should assume full responsibility for Medicaid funding on the island by waiving the local matching requirement. Federal funding for Puerto Rico’s Medicaid program is currently capped, resulting in a far lower effective federal matching share than would be the case if Puerto Rico were treated like a state. On a more permanent basis, increasing the federal match for Medicaid would provide much-needed budgetary relief to the government of Puerto Rico. While the Affordable Care Act (ACA) provided additional Medicaid funds for Puerto Rico, those funds are projected to run out in federal FY 2018, leaving a significant shortfall in the island’s Medicaid budget. Setting the federal share (FMAP) at 83%, what Puerto Rico would likely be entitled to as a state, would permanently eliminate any future funding “cliffs” and stabilize the finances of the Puerto Rican government.

SOCIAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS – Puerto Rico is an extremely poor territory of the United States, 45% of its population lives under the federal poverty threshold and its income per capita is approximately one-third of the mainland’s and one half of the poorest state. However, the Nutritional Assistance Program, Puerto Rico’s version of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), is funded as a block grant, rather than as an entitlement. Temporarily extending full SNAP benefits to Puerto Rico would help thousands of poor Puerto Rican families to obtain the nutrition assistance they need in the midst of this emergency. Similarly, Puerto Ricans living on the island do not qualify for the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program. Extending this program to Puerto Rico would provide necessary help to an increasing at-risk elderly population.

TAX CODE PROPOSALS – Congress should enact the recommendations made by the Congressional Task Force on Economic Growth regarding the Child Tax Credit and the Earned Income Tax Credit. The Child Tax Credit (CTC) currently applies only to Puerto Rican families with three or more children. Extending the CTC to families with 1 or 2 children would provide a much needed boost to approximately 355,000 working families and 440,000 children. Second, most Puerto Ricans do not currently qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit, perhaps the most successful anti-poverty, pro-work program in the history of the United States. Congress should authorize the extension of this program to residents of Puerto Rico, which would lift thousands of working families from poverty. Together these two programs would increase the economic well-being of thousands of low-income Puerto Ricans and curtail migration to the mainland.

Editorial de El Nuevo Día publicado el 30 de octubre de 2017.

En la tarea de reconstruir un Puerto Rico nuevo, las organizaciones del Tercer Sector deben tener espacio en la mesa en que el gobierno traza su ruta de inversión de los fondos federales que recibirá para dejar atrás la devastación que quedó del huracán María.

Estas organizaciones son protagonistas en la gestión de proveer aportaciones y servicios a las poblaciones más desventajadas, que el gobierno desatiende. Y ese esfuerzo ha sido más que evidente en la rápida y efectiva movilización que ha llevado ayuda humanitaria a comunidades que quedaron aisladas por inundaciones, derrumbes y vías obstruidas a raíz del golpe del cliclón.

Destaca, entre estas, la iniciativa del Centro para una Nueva Economía (CNE) y Espacios Abiertos (EA), que mediante el Puerto Rico Recovery Fund, han entregado más de 900,000 libras de alimentos, agua y artículos de primera necesidad a numerosas organizaciones comunitarias.

Esa respuesta rápida, de la que el gobierno deberá aprender para agilizar el envío de ayudas imprescindibles cuando otro evento climatológico impacte la zona, aprovechó la valiosa plataforma compuesta por entidades que brindan servicio directo en sectores marginados.

Con visión estratégica y compromiso probado, esta activación del CNE y EA es parte de un esfuerzo más amplio que incluye cabildeo en Washington para atraer la ayuda que Puerto Rico requiere y el esbozo de un plan de desarrollo sostenible.

Como parte de sus iniciativas, han traído esta semana a Puerto Rico a una voz reconocida en el tema de recuperación de desastres. John Davies, presidente de Baton Rouge Area Foundation, ha dirigido un esfuerzo monumental para refundar el sur de Luisiana tras su devastación por el huracán Katrina en 2007.

Durante su visita, en una reunión con decenas de líderes del sector privado y del Tercer Sector, Davies ha esbozado al menos una decena de lecciones que deben ser invitación al liderato de nuestro país, en sus diversas esferas, en esta etapa aún temprana de recuperación. Ha hecho hincapié en la necesidad de responder con rapidez, no solo para brindar los primeros socorros, sino para identificar dónde quedan todavía personas albergadas en refugios no oficiales que podrían ser focos de insalubridad.

Sobre todo, ha acentuado la importancia de proveer atención a la salud mental, tanto para los equipos de respuesta rápida y voluntarios como para el resto de la población. Es esencial que, con la ayuda de la Coalición de Salud Mental que ya había levantado la mano para servir, se coordine un esfuerzo integrado para mitigar los trastornos post traumáticos a corto, mediano y largo plazo.

La inserción del Tercer Sector en los procesos de gobierno en los que se determina el uso que se les dará a los fondos federales que lleguen es también una lección importante que Davies comparte de la experiencia tras Katrina. Ese dinero debe dirigirse a la construcción de un país diferente, preparado para recibir embates naturales sin sufrir los desastres provocados por la mala planificación, la negligencia y la corrupción.

De hecho, ponerle coto a la corrupción, darle prioridad a la educación y a crear ciudades seguras han sido enumerados por Davies como elementos sobre los que se levanta el desarrollo económico en las zonas que fueron más castigadas por el huracán Katrina.

Esfuerzos como el activado a través del Puerto Rico Recovery Fund, entre otros, que incluyen evaluar las experiencias exitosas y los errores cometidos en otros lugares ante situaciones similares, son acertados. Ofrecen la esperanza de que el país extraerá las mejores oportunidades de esta crisis compleja.

Las voces del Tercer Sector, incluidas las comunidades, junto a las del sector privado, son imprescindibles para desarrollar la visión de país de las próximas décadas. La mesa donde se diseñe el plano de ese nuevo Puerto Rico debe sostenerse sobre los pilares de la democracia y la transparencia.

MARIA, LESSONS FROM KATRINA.

Ten recommendations from an experienced friend of Puerto Rico and longtime supporter of CNE.

JOHN G. DAVIES, PRESIDENT OF BATON ROUGE AREA FOUNDATION.

One month after Hurricane Maria
Newspaper headlines:
89% without power.
30% without water.
40% without telecommunications.
Leptospirosis outbreak, 57 cases confirmed.
$120,000 millions estimated in damages.

The Puerto Rico Recovery Fund:
748,000 lbs. of supplies distributed (received from US, abroad or bought locally).
100% of supplies delivered within 24 hours of their receipt.
10 distribution centers strategically located throughout the island.
29 NGOs in partnership.
46+ communities impacted.
518 donors.
$1,372,812 raised.
DC advocacy efforts in action.
Medium and long term economic development resilient initiatives moving forward.

 

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This is Cheito.  He lives in Ponce.  He is crossing a creek to get to his house, where he lives with his elderly mother. He is grateful for the supplies he received and wanted us to witness the emptiness of his refrigerator. (Photos were taken impromptu by one of our volunteers).

This is Puerto Rico a month after Hurricane Maria. Lots of work done.  So much more work to do.

Please share this upadte with friends and colleagues and encourage them to support the Puerto Rico Recovery Fund.

Immediate relief and humanitarian aid have been a priority for the Puerto Rico Recovery Fund.

Over 628,000 lbs. of supplies (water, food, medicines and hygiene kits) have been personally delivered to communities through 10 distribution centers established from coast to coast in partnership with community-based organizations. A well organized and highly effective distribution network of volunteers delivers supplies within 24 hours of their receipt. Also, this week emergency cash grants were handed to families in Comerío and Orocovis. As requested by the donor, a total of $40,000 will be distributed in cash grants of $200 to $400 to needy families.

Advocacy work for recovery and medium and long-term economic development with a focus on resiliency is on track and moving forward.
The CNE Response Team, Espacios Abiertos and CNE staff, have been working on these other two strategic areas of the Puerto Rico Recovery Fund from week one:

  • Advancing advocacy efforts in San Juan and Washington DC, to ensure maximum federal support and efficient resource coordination, working with long time partners like the Center on Budget and Policy PrioritiesOpen Society Foundations, and Annie E. Casey Foundation, and a policy advising and consulting firm has been retained in DC.
  • Establishing alliances and securing funding with two major partners for very targeted initiatives that will contribute to the recovery of 11,000 small businesses throughout the island.

We are committed to the resilient rebuild of Puerto Rico.
Support the Puerto Rico Recovery Fund.

Join hundreds of individuals, as well as, private and community foundations, that have given generously to the Puerto Rico Recovery Fund.  A total of $1,353,000 has been donated to the fund. We are very thankful to all of our donors. Your support and the need that we continue to see even as days go by, have encouraged us to raise the fundraising goal to $2 million dollars.

Join us in this effort to help and rebuild. Give generously. DonateYour support to the Puerto Rico Recovery Fund is important.

Help us expand our network. Share this update with friends and colleagues.

On one hand.

The devastation throughout the island is immense. Families everywhere lack basic necessities. Beyond the metropolitan area, few have access to drinking water. Communications continue to be a problem in both, urban and rural areas.

On the other hand.

A great deal of people, organizations and communities are working together and helping each other. Support from private individuals here and abroad has been very generous. Many have entrusted the Center for a New Economy efforts through the Puerto Rico Recovery Fund. Thank you. With your support our initial goal to raise $500,000 was met. Nonetheless our experience on the field has confirmed the great need that there is. Encouraged by friends and donors, like Carolina and Héctor Nevares and an anonymous donor who each gave $100,000 to the Puerto Rico Recovery Fund this week, we have doubled our goal. A total of $768, 044 has been raised.

A picture is worth a thousand words.

The Puerto Rico Recovery Fund is about the people. View our gallery where we share instances of the work being done by our team at CNE, joined by Espacios Abiertos and volunteers throughout the island.

120,000 POUNDS OF WATER AND OTHER 50 THOUSAND POUNDS OF FOOD AND EMERGENCY SUPPLIES DISTRIBUTED IN FOUR DAYS AND ALWAYS WITHIN 24 HOURS OF THEIR RECEIPT

Ten distribution centers throughout Puerto Rico have been established by the Puerto Rico Recovery Fund, a fund created by the Center for a New Economy the day after hurricane Maria ravaged Puerto Rico. Emergency supplies, water, food, and medicines are quickly distributed through this network of local partners, reaching communities from coast to coast, including the island of Vieques.

This week we received 120,000 lbs. of water donated by the State of New York and transported to Puerto Rico on a UPS flight. The water was distributed through the centers the Puerto Rico Recovery Fund has jointly established with seven local non-profit organizations in Isabela, San Juan, Cabo Rojo, Mayagüez, Guaynabo, Toa Baja, Humacao, and Adjuntas. We have also collected and distributed, in the last four days, over 50,000 lbs. of food and medicines to affected communities in Vieques, Aguadilla, Humacao and San Juan.

Thank you to all of our supporters who have generously given to the Puerto Rico Recovery Fund through donations, supplies, logistics, storage and distribution support. Join the Baton Rouge Area Foundation, the State of New York, the New York Community TrustUnicefUPSAllen & CompanyB. Fernández & Hnos. Inc.V. Suárez & Co., Inc.Plaza Provision Company, the FBI, and over 300 individuals from Puerto Rico and abroad. Support the fund, share it with your friends and colleagues.

We also want to extend our gratitude to our volunteers and local non-profits that have joined CNE and its affiliate Espacios Abiertos to establish the Puerto Rico Recovery Fund’s distribution chain throughout the island: the Boys and Girls Clubs, the Instituto Nueva EscuelaPECESCasa PuebloPara la Naturaleza, Sacred Heart University, and the Baptist Church of Puerto Rico.