Puerto Rico Needs $128Bln For 2017 Hurricane Recovery, US Supplied Only $4Bln - Report

Puerto Rico Needs $128Bln For 2017 Hurricane Recovery, US Supplied Only $4Bln - Report

WASHINGTON (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 15th March, 2019) The US government has so far provided less than $4 billion of the $132 billion that Puerto Rico is estimated to need to recover from Hurricane Maria in September 2017, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) said in a report on Thursday.

"Puerto Rico estimates that $132 billion will be needed to repair and reconstruct its infrastructure and services," the GAO said. "FEMA [Federal Emergency Management Agency] has provided nearly $4 billion in public assistance grant funding to Puerto Rico as of September 2018."

Remaining major challenges, a year and a half after the Category 5 hurricane include incomplete or conflicting guidance on procedures and concerns that municipalities have not been fully reimbursed for work already completed, the report said.

"FEMA obligated about $3.63 billion for emergency work - emergency measures such as debris removal and generators - and about $151 million for permanent work to repair and replace public infrastructure such as roads," the GAO said.

Hurricane Maria was the worst natural disaster to hit Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands since records were first kept. The government of Puerto Rico and an independent investigation by the George Washington University have put the death toll from the hurricane and its aftermath at nearly 3,000 people.

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