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The ability to communicate during and after a disaster is a life-and-death matter. And few disasters better exemplify this need than Hurricanes Irma and Maria, which devastated Puerto Rico in September 2017.Hurricane Irma struck on Sept. 6 and left more than a million people without power while weakening Puerto Rico's already fragile infrastructure. Then on Sept. 20, Hurricane Maria — a Category 4 storm — destroyed the islands' infrastructure. It left nearly the entire population without power and knocked out Puerto Rico's communications networks. Between 3,000–5,000 people died, making Maria one of the deadliest disasters in U.S. history. And the inability of Puerto Ricans to make calls or access life-saving information contributed to the death toll.The failure of the islands' communications infrastructure was a major factor in the death toll. This report's goal is to call attention to the critical need to examine and investigate all of the causes for the collapse of the communications networks -- and to ensure a crisis like this isn't repeated.
Center for Economic and Policy Research;
Puerto Rico's circumstances changed significantly with the devastating impact of Hurricane Maria in September 2017. The storm claimed the lives of an estimated thousands of people, destroyed the island's infrastructure, severely damaged over 472,000 homes, and completely shut down utilities. The Financial Oversight and Management Board for Puerto Rico estimates there to be at least $80 billion in damage from the storm, though a report from Puerto Rico's governor estimated it would take $95 billion to rebuild.This paper finds that the Board's new fiscal plan, like the previous one, is based on overoptimistic macroeconomic assumptions, downplays the negative impacts of continued austerity, and fails to address many of the structural problems at the core of Puerto Rico's lost decade, all while mandating a significant erosion of worker rights and reductions in public services.
Red de Fundaciones de Puerto Rico;
La Red de Fundaciones de Puerto Rico (Puerto Rico Funders Network) released a report documenting philanthropic engagement in Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria. The report does a deep dive on how philanthropy changed after one catastrophic storm and shares lessons learned that can inform disaster giving going forward.Janice Petrovich, then executive director of "La Red," describes the purpose of the study of private philanthropy following the 2017 hurricanes "to reflect on what we experienced and draw meaning and lessons that can serve us in the long rebuilding process, and others who may have the misfortune of experiencing such a destructive event."
Center for Economic and Policy Research;
Already in the midst of a fiscal crisis, Puerto Rico faces a long road to recovery from Hurricane Maria, a devastating storm it was ill-equipped to handle. The urgent efforts to address both the humanitarian needs and damage caused by the storm must also extend to solving the island's imminent Medicaid crisis, a preexisting condition that plagued Puerto Rico before the hurricane and that has been exacerbated by it.This paper examines the inadequate federal support received by Puerto Rico for its Medicaid program, and shows that ― barring immediate action from the US Congress ― the territory will not have sufficient funds to continue operating in 2018. While the cost of living is higher in Puerto Rico than the US average, health care services are the only item that is significantly less costly on the island. Using 2016 Medicaid costs and looking at known migration patterns, we calculate what the federal government and states are likely to pay for providing Medicaid for Puerto Ricans moving to US states from 2018 to 2027 using two different migration scenarios. Under the more pessimistic scenario - a higher out-migration rate - more likely in the wake of Hurricane Maria, the cost for providing Medicaid to new Puerto Rican migrants stateside is $19.4 billion for the federal government and $12.3 billion among states, as compared to a total of $7.8 billion in Puerto Rico.
This paper presents an analysis of the community development field and of NeighborWorks organizations in Puerto Rico as a conceptual framework for developing a changed intervention strategy by Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation. It was developed by Tubal Padilla Galiano, management consultant, with research and other assistance from Deepak Lamba Nieves, community development intern. Our hope is to promote a focused discussion that will lead to the necessary adjustments for the effective development of Puerto Rico-based NeighborWorks organizations.
Funders for LGBTQ Issues;
A first-ever research report on U.S. organizations led by and for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) people of color. The report describes 84 of these organizations by geographic location, geographic focus, geographic setting, populations, issues, strategies and fiscal characteristics.
Compares options for improving tax incentives for charitable giving, including lifting the ceiling on deductions as a percentage of adjusted gross income, and estimated effects on nonprofits in Puerto Rico, where average giving is high relative to AGI.
Pew Hispanic Center;
Outlines Puerto Rican population trends from 1970 to 2010. Compares demographic, income, and economic characteristics of Latinos/Hispanics in Puerto Rico with those of Latinos of Puerto Rican descent in the fifty states and D.C. as well as all Latinos.
Intercabios Puerto Rico;
Instead of receiving help from the institutions, public and private, that are supposed to safeguard their rights and ensure their bienestar, drug users in Puerto Rico are treated as merchandise without regard at all to the dignity and respect they deserve as human beings. The experiences and stories documented in this report show that in Puerto Rico they are still violating the human rights and the integrity of drug users under the guise of providing "treatment" in institutions operating mostly by organizations non-profit and faith-based, as Christian homes and Hogares CREA, Inc. These centers represent over 90% of residential programs licensed by the government. Within these centers the-post "treatment" for problematic drug use, daily acts that constitute cruel, inhuman and degraded treatment toward drug users are committed. The humillation and the threat of arbitrary and degrading punishment is our daily bread.
Three out of four households in Puerto Rico (74.9 percent) report making charitable donations in 2014, a high rate of giving, especially compared to similar data in the U.S. which shows 55.8 percent of mainland U.S. households giving to charity in 2013.This finding comes from the first study of its kind to examine charitable giving patterns, priorities, and attitudes of Puerto Rican households. Giving in Puerto Rico is the result of a collaboration among Flamboyan Foundation (Flamboyan), the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, and Kinesis Foundation. The publication was presented Wednesday at the Puerto Rico Convention Center to a select group of nonprofit organization leaders, donors, corporate executives, academics, and other individuals committed to philanthropy."The findings offer the first scientific base for giving in Puerto Rican households. It confirms what we already know, that we in Puerto Rico are very generous. Giving in Puerto Rico also provides an understanding of giving so we can start thinking about being more effective as philanthropists during this time of great need," said Guiomar García Guerra, Ph.D., executive director of Flamboyan.Flamboyan commissioned the research project to establish baseline information about giving in Puerto Rico that can be benchmarked against data from the mainland U.S., such as from the Philanthropy Panel Study and the U.S. Trust Study of High Net Worth Philanthropy."Now that we have comparative data prepared by experts in the field, as nonprofit leaders we can promote Puerto Rico's needs in philanthropic circles in the U.S. and internationally," stated Kristin Ehrgood, co-founder and President of the Board of Flamboyan.Una Osili, Ph.D., director of research for the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, noted, "We see an opportunity in Puerto Rico to increase formal giving, since a large part of donations are informal in nature, such as helping a stranger, a neighbor, a friend or relative." A large percentage of survey respondents indicated they had limited knowledge about philanthropy and nonprofits. This contrasts with the finding that the more people know about philanthropy, the higher the average amount of money they tend to donate.The survey also asked what respondents considered the most important issues in society today. Vadim Nikitine, co-founder of Flamboyan and current board member, said, "This study shows a gap between what households identify as pressing issues, and the areas they actually donate to. Our goal is to spur a broad discussion that provokes each and every one of us to question to what we contribute, how we do it and how we can increase our impact."Puerto Rican households donated an average of $285 in 2014; high net worth households donated an average of $1,171. No matter what the specific dollar amount given by any one household, a huge difference could be achieved by individuals taking action for the collective good.Key FindingsThree out of four households in Puerto Rico report giving.The average amount donated in 2014 was $285 while the average amount given by high net worth households was $1,171.The top five reasons cited for giving were: giving back to the community; giving spontaneously in response to a specific need; giving because you believe that your gift can make a difference; giving because you desire to set an example for future generations; and giving when you are asked to donate.The top three areas that received donations in 2014 were: basic needs; religion; and health.The top three social issue priorities were: education; health care; and the economy.53 percent of the population prefers to donate to organizations in Puerto Rico that focus on local issues.The majority of individuals, 67 percent, say they know very little about philanthropy and nonprofits.Only one-third of those interviewed could name three nonprofit organizations and 11 percent could not name a single one.Seven out of 10 people report giving informally.A significant majority, 75 percent, were unaware of major changes made to the Puerto Rico tax code that impact the potential tax benefits of charitable giving.
Center for Economic and Policy Research;
As Puerto Rico enters the legal debt restructuring process, this paper examines the future prospects for an economy that has had no growth over the last ten years — a lost decade. The facts indicate that the fiscal plan approved by Puerto Rico's Financial Oversight Board will not lead to an economic recovery in the foreseeable future and that another lost decade, or worse, is a much more likely outcome. Nor will the proposed restructuring satisfy creditors, who may then further impede economic recovery by taking legal action in an attempt to collect the full value of the bonds they hold. The paper also notes the recent historical and structural causes of the economy's decline, which led to the debt crisis; and that these, too, will need to be addressed if Puerto Rico is ever to have a sustainable recovery.