Manchester Calling

The Humanitarian and Conflict Response Institute

By Dr Gemma Sou and Dr Félix Aponte-González

Abstract

House affected by Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, October 2017

House affected by Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, October 2017

Hurricane Irma hit Puerto Rico on September 6, 2017. This was soon followed by hurricane Maria on September 20, 2017 causing widespread and devastating impacts in Puerto Rico and other Caribbean islands in the region. During October 2017, Dr. Gemma Sou and Dr. Felix Aponte Gonzalez conducted interviews with organisations that are directly involved in emergency response and relief efforts in Puerto Rico. Despite paramount efforts, governmental and non-governmental organisations have insufficiently supported disaster relief and recovery efforts at the household level. This is partly because the impacts of Irma and Maria surpassed institutional capacities of agencies. However, our research and subsequent policy brief highlights several other explanations. Against these findings we make several policy recommendations to improve future relief efforts, and to facilitate more effective household recovery in the medium and long-term.

 

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