Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rossello is seeking over $94 billion from Congress to rebuild the island’s infrastructure, housing, schools and hospitals, with over $31 billion earmarked for housing for the island’s 3.4 million residents.
The Home Depot Foundation has raised its assistance package for hurricane and earthquake disasters in Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and Mexico to $3 million. “Over the past few weeks, it has been heartbreaking to witness the level of devastation in Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico, Mexico and the United States Virgin Islands,” said Shannon Gerber, executive director of The Home Depot Foundation. “After assessing the damages in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, we have increased our commitment in these areas by another $ 500,000, and we will continue to work closely with our non-profit partners to provide short-term relief and reconstruction assistance to those affected by these tragic storms and earthquakes.”
Similarly, Lanco is providing direct relief and coordinating donations to the island through groups like United for Puerto Rico, which has already granted $1.9 million to nine nonprofit organizations that will provide relief to those most affected by Hurricane María.
“Puerto Rico has been hit extremely hard and infrastructure and communications will be a long-term issue. Our sister companies of the Blanco Group — Harris Paints, Crossco, WECO, Lanco Puerto Rico and Enco — and their employees have been directly impacted and the devastation is very personal. We are in direct contact with local authorities and mainland organizations and are completely committed to become engaged in relief and recovery support efforts,” the company said in a statement.
Lanco will be able to draw on manufacturing from its production sites outside of Puerto Rico to help supply the demand on the island. Apart from Puerto Rico, Lanco has manufacturing sites in the Dominican Republic, Costa Rica and Colombia, and distribution sites in Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua and Panama. The company is also establishing a new manufacturing site in Jamaica, with a reported $10 million investment.
U.S. assistance to the island may result from a bill introduced by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) to rebuild and modernize the infrastructure of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands with a federal investment of $146 billion. “The Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands Equitable Rebuild Act of 2017” would transform the U.S. territories’ energy, housing, education, agriculture, transportation and health care systems. In total, the bill would grant $62 billion to the governments of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands to address their fiscal challenges, $27 billion for infrastructure projects and $51 billion for economic development.