The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced the approval of nearly $ 90 million in low-interest disaster loans, known as CDLs, to help Puerto Rico’s municipalities hit by the 2020 earthquakes in their long-term recovery.
Twenty-five municipalities in the south, center and west of the island have benefited from this federal aid, which ended on 30 June. All municipalities that applied for the loan and submitted the required documentation were approved.
“The earthquakes have certainly changed the economic landscape of many municipalities that were simultaneously struggling with the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. The loans serve as instruments that, together with the support of the Puerto Rican government, help stabilize municipalities and revitalize the local economy, ”said Puerto Rico’s Federal Disaster Recovery Coordinator Jose G. Baquero.
The CDL program provides funding for operating expenses to assist local governments that have suffered significant revenue loss due to the declared natural disaster. These disruptions often negatively affect the ability of cities to provide basic municipal services.
The funds will provide economic assistance to municipalities such as San Herman, which worked in partnership with FEMA to obtain approval for this loan.
“The municipalities saw that their finances were affected by the loss of income, so the loan is very important because it will help us continue to provide services to our people and guarantee our employees the job security they deserve. We value FEMA’s commitment, ”said Virgilio Oliver Oliver, Mayor of San Herman.
For his part, Aguada Mayor Cristian Cortez Feliciano said the financial problems facing the island were compounded by emergencies caused by natural disasters and the COVID-19 pandemic. “This loan will help us subsidize operating expenses, stabilize our finances and chart a path to recovery when we can support ourselves with our own funds and fully meet our obligations. I am convinced that with the right planning, hard work and shared determination, we will move forward, ”the mayor said.
In addition, Manuel A. Laboy Rivera, Executive Director of the Central Office for Recovery, Reconstruction and Resilience (COR3), noted that the hurricane season has already begun and all municipalities must have the human capital they need to deal with any emergency that may arise. … “We will continue to work hand in hand with mayors, as well as state and federal agencies, to mediate between them and the various types of assistance provided by FEMA,” said Laboy Rivera.
For more information on earthquake recovery in Puerto Rico, visit fema.gov/disaster/4473…
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