The United Church of Christ has sent the first of what will be numerous grants to our ecclesiastical partners in Puerto Rico. $10,000has been donatedto “Discipulos de Cristo en Puerto Rico” for first aid kits, electric generators, gasoline, drinking water, water filters, non-perishable food, battery-powered radios and batteries. DCPR is also sending out assessment teams to interview victims, evaluate damages and seek measures to overcome the crisis left by the two category-4 hurricanes.
Puerto Rico is facing a devastating humanitarian crisis. The 150 mph winds and drenching rains left islanders without power and access to fresh drinking water. With no power, waste and water treatment plants are now crippled … setting up potential for any number of water-born diseases.
Last week, the U.S. Government waived the Jones Act, a 97-year old set of restrictions which limit shipping between U.S. ports to U.S. owned and operated ships. This temporary act will hopefully expedite the delivery of needed fuel, medicine, food and water todesperate residents. Our UCC Justice and Witness Ministry is lobbying Congress to make the lifting of the Jones Act permanent, as well as designate the funds needed for long term recovery and rebuilding.