“Help us, We are dying here“
Puerto Rico Governor Wanda Vázquez Garced fired the island’s emergency management director on Saturday, after a video showing aid sitting unused in a warehouse went viral on social media. Some of the aid has allegedly been sitting in the warehouse since Hurricane Maria struck in 2017.
And yet CBS then concludes with…
Puerto Ricans were waiting to see if President Donald Trump would sign a major disaster declaration to authorize the much needed aid. Nine days after Governor Vazquez submitted the request, Trump signed the declaration. One day prior, the Trump administration released $8.2 billion in heavily restricted aid to the island.
Much needed aid.
Puerto Rico is an easy target. But don’t imagine that aid agencies operating in the United States, including the big non-profit names, are any better. After every natural disaster, there’s an immediate rush to raise money for aid. The money raised does not go to victims of the current disaster. And a fraction of the actual aid is handed out to disaster victims. A whole bunch of it is warehoused indefinitely.
Meanwhile fundraising bids keep recycling the same montage of water bottles and MREs being loaded and unloaded.
Puerto Rico is worse because of the corruption and the lack of accountability. Haiti is even worse. But it’s a matter of degrees. The general rule of thumb is that the bigger the organization, the less aid actually reaches anyone. And government is almost entirely useless.
I look forward to revisiting, at some point, Bloomberg’s mishandling of the disaster in New York City.