Recovery from disasters on the scale of hurricanes Irma and María requires resources that exceed government capabilities.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency recently launched the “Hub of Philanthropic Engagement” to bring awareness of Puerto Rico’s recovery needs to the national and international philanthropic community.
The group aims to raise $200 million for recovery from the back-to-back 2017 storms, the agency stated.
“FEMA’s ‘Hub of Philanthropic Engagement’ is the catalyst for groundbreaking public-philanthropic-partnerships that will shape Puerto Rico’s recovery for many years to come,” said Federal Coordinating Officer Michael Byrne, who is leading FEMA’s recovery efforts.
Serving as a bridge between the donor and service provider communities to address long-term recovery needs, the Hub has three goals: increasing financial support that is well matched to strategic recovery needs, building a more robust non-governmental organization sector essential to resiliency and strengthening institutional capacity to grow philanthropic contributions in Puerto Rico.
Philanthropic investments are critical to address the immediate needs of disaster survivors and begin the rebuilding of resilient communities. Beyond short-term needs, philanthropic engagement can play a key role through strategic investments that address social, economic and environmental challenges in the community.
The Hub tailors collaborative efforts with nonprofits, municipalities and service-oriented organizations to identify resources including technical support and in-kind contribution that best match the needs of the communities.
Donated resources represent a significant contribution to the island and can also be applied toward the non-federal 10 percent cost share of eligible permanent work projects, FEMA noted.
FEMA’s Public Assistance program reimburses the government of Puerto Rico and certain private nonprofits with federal funding for 90 percent of eligible costs for projects. The government is responsible for the other 10 percent of the eligible cost.