[News] Poverty for Post-Maria Puerto Rico Up By 8%

Anti-Imperialist News news at freedomarchives.org
Tue Nov 28 18:19:52 EST 2017


  Poverty for Post-Maria Puerto Rico Up By 8%

November 29, 2017

The University of Puerto Rico in Cayey, UPR-Cayey, says that poverty on 
the island has increased by 8 percent, from 44.3 to 52.3 percent since 
hurricane Maria hit on Sept. 20.

According to the university’s study, many Puerto Ricans were living on 
the brink of poverty prior to when the Category 4 storm hit, and now 
have nearly no work and an increased cost of living. A study researcher, 
Jose Caraballo said that “the hurricane exacerbated poverty in Puerto 
Rico, leaving more than half the island in poverty.

Yet it's not just those who were already close to poverty who have 
fallen below the line. Many parts of the island are still without 
continuous electricity and water - and jobs. Because of this researchers 
estimate that an additional 254,900 people, who were previously earning 
between 25 and 50 percent over the poverty level are now living below 
it, which could bring the island poverty figure to nearly 60 percent.

And poverty on the island isn’t geographically uniform on the island. 
The rural municipalities located farther from the capital of San Juan 
are experiencing much higher rates of poverty than those closer to the 
northeastern capital. The municipality of Maricao has an infant poverty 
rate of 82 percent, and Barranquitas, 74. While Toa Alta infant poverty 
is at 35 percent, and Guaynabo 37 percent.

Hurricane Maria also accentuated the increasing lack of medical supplies 
on the island, including intravenous drips used for patients in 
hospitals. The rate of I.V. production on the island decreased in 2014 
after factories in Puerto Rico lowered their input because of power 
outages. Some hospitals are using different size IVs to compensate.

Meanwhile, in the Senate, Bernie Sanders and Senator Elizabeth Warren, a 
Democrat, called for a new "emergency credit facility" of up to US$57.2 
billion for Puerto Rico.

Reuters reports that Puerto Rican Governor Ricardo Rossello is seeking 
more than US$94 billion in disaster recovery aid, including US$31.1 
billion for housing and US$17.8 billion to rebuild and bolster the power 

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