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Rural Puerto Rican communities continue to be underserved by U.S. agencies

As we write this column in the week before Christmas 2017, it has been nearly three months since category 5 Hurricane Maria made landfall in Puerto Rico on September 20, 2017. Unlike the Texas coast which was drenched with rainfall from Hurricane Harvey that just weeks earlier was measured in feet, some 40 percent of the island still is without electrical power and damage to major roads and bridges makes many communities on the island difficult to reach with most of those in rural areas. According to Refugee International, “the U.S. response remains too slow and bureaucratic.” They point out that “the initial deployment of the US military was insufficient – for example, it paled in comparison to the magnitude of the US military response surrounding the Haiti earthquake in 2010” and Puerto Rico is a part of the US with the residents holding US citizenship.

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Ag Policy