After Hurricane Maria made landfall in Puerto Rico in September, 2017, as a Category 4 storm, about 3.4 million people were left without power and the island’s energy grid was all but destroyed. Without electricity, there was no power to pump water into homes, leaving almost half the population without potable water. Roads were scattered with debris and bridges needed to be assessed for safety. In just a few hours, 80 percent of the crop value had been wiped out – an estimated $780 million in agriculture yields.
“The devastation in Puerto Rico has set us back nearly 20 to 30 years,” Puerto Rico Resident Commissioner Jennifer Gonzalez said.
UNICEF USA is working with UPS and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Empire State Relief and Recovery Effort for Puerto Rico to deliver emergency supplies. The Foundation, always looking for ways to assist people in desperate need around the world, provided an additional grant of $5,000 to aid in relief efforts, bringing the total grants to UNICEF up to $15,000 in 2017.
During such an emergency, children are at high risk of violence, abuse, chronic illness and spread of contagious diseases. UNICEF continues to address the needs of those impacted by Hurricane Maria to help return them to some sense of normalcy as soon as possible.
Read more about UNICEF’s hurricane relief efforts.
In the Foundation’s history, more than $48,000 has been donated to humanitarian efforts led by UNICEF.