United for Puerto Rico Distributes $25.8 Million in Grants to 133 NGOs Actively Working on Disaster Relief and Recovery Efforts

Most of the funds came from donations from the mainland USA

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#unidosporpuertorico–Seven months after hurricane María hit the island, United for Puerto
Rico has awarded $25.8 million in grants for relief and recovery efforts
to 133 NGOs, donated 2,068 generators to small businesses, and completed
the distribution of 5 million pounds of supplies.

“We are extremely satisfied and proud of the efforts achieved by
leveraging the capabilities and resources of NGO’s with potential to
impact approximately 1 million individuals with the most pressing
needs,” said Aurelio Alemán, Chairman of the Board of United for Puerto
Rico (UFPR). “These milestones have been made possible thanks to the
generosity of foundations, other organizations, corporations and more
than 120,000 individuals who donated $39.2 million to United for Puerto
Rico,” added Alemán.

UFPR first focused on providing relief and these efforts have
transitioned to recovery. Efforts have supported five critical areas in
disaster relief and recovery; 16.15% for food and water; 17.66% for
shelter, 26.86% for health, 23.84% for social wellbeing and 15.49% for
economic development. These initiatives have concentrated in support of
the most vulnerable populations, like the elderly, single mother
households and children among others.

According to Mariely Rivera, the Executive Director of UFPR: “The amount
collected by UFPR and distributed in seven months is the largest
philanthropic effort in Puerto Rico’s history. By leveraging the
capabilities of highly qualified NGOs, with established track records,
we have been able to maximize the impact of our organization, which was
founded between Hurricane Irma and Maria. This work has taken place
under challenging conditions with lack of power and reliable
telecommunication services during the initial phase.”

The grant effort has also been complemented by the distribution of 5
million pounds of donated supplies through collaborative agreements with
various entities: Government of Puerto Rico Collection Center,
Compassion Service International, Vieques Love, Fundación Misión de
Amor/Ayuda a mi Isla; Mayagüez Municipality, San Germán Municipality,
Centro de Amor Antonio Resto Mijol, Corporación de Salud y Desarrollo
Económico del Otoao, Universidad de Puerto Rico- Mayagüez and Humacao
campuses, Banco de Alimentos, Programa del Adolescente de Naranjito,
Iglesia de Dios Mission Board, Utuado, Clínica and Pontificia
Universidad Católica de Puerto Rico- Arecibo campus. UFPR also as part
of its efforts took on the task to facilitate the process by which these
were transported from the mainland U.S. and other countries to Puerto
Rico.

To support small businesses, one of the key groups identified as part of
the recovery, the organization also supplied power generators, when it
became apparent that power restoration would take months in certain
areas and close to a year in the central and southeastern part of Puerto
Rico, Vieques and Culebra. More than, 2,000 small businesses benefitted
from this program in 24 municipalities facing the biggest challenges in
power restoration. This initiative not only provided a survival
mechanism for these small businesses, but also offered a support system
to these communities by giving a certain level of normality during the
crisis.

In addition to these initiatives, UFPR has also, as part of its work
plan, participated in forums with other organizations to explore lessons
learned from Maria that can help the community be better prepared in the
future. As part of these efforts the Executive Director visited New
Orleans in the company of Puerto Rico leaders from across various
sectors with the NGO Friends
of New Orleans
, in a trip sponsored by the Skip Battle Foundation,
organized by ConPRmetidos, a local NGO. In the upcoming days, UFPR will
host a health forum to discuss best practices to serve the health needs
of the most remote communities during disasters.

To support the plans set forth by the organization, providing
information and transparency to our donors and stakeholders has been a
key area of focus. As part of this UFPR publishes a monthly newsletter
highlighting its achievements. Also, the organization lists all grants
on its website and periodically updates this information. In addition,
UFPR has an active presence on social media (Facebook, Twitter and
Instagram) providing updates on the organization as well as on the
achievements of the NGOs receiving the funds. It currently has more than
135,000 followers on Facebook. For more information, please visit www.unitedforpuertorico.com.

“Many of the NGOs have been reporting to us and their moving stories are
a powerful testament of the impact of this social investment in disaster
relief and recovery,” said Rivera. UFPR actively monitors the work done
by the NGOs and results obtained from the donations.

“We are proud of the efforts achieved during the past seven months.
Through the NGOs, we are helping to rebuild stronger communities,” said
the UFPR Executive Director. “At UFPR, we are humbled by the trust
granted and extremely grateful for the contributions from our donors. We
are committed to honor them by ensuring the adequate distribution of all
donations to continue to help the people of Puerto Rico recover,” added
Alemán, the Chairman of the Board.

About United for Puerto Rico

United for Puerto Rico is nonprofit NGO certified as 501c3 entity by
the U.S. Internal Revenue Service. It was created after the Office of
the First Lady of Puerto Rico called for members of the private sector
to join in the relief effort after Hurricane Irma struck Puerto Rico on
September 6. After the catastrophic impact of Maria, on September 20,
the organization saw the need to formalize and strengthen its structure
as an entity separate from the government ruled by a board of nine
directors from the private sector with one ex-officio government
representative, the Secretary of the Puerto Rico Treasury, who has no
vote. For more information, please visit
www.unitedforpuertorico.com.

Contacts

United for Puerto Rico
Lourdes Figaredo, R-6; APR, M:
787-366-0951
lourdesfigaredo@msn.com
or
Lisette
Nuñez, R-449, M: 787-406-3606
lisette.nunez@gmail.con

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