FEMA workers deliver food boxes and water bottles in Puerto Rico. (Steven Shepard/FEMA)

FEMA Not Ending Food, Water Aid to Puerto Rico After All

The New York Times reported Jan. 31 that Federal Emergency Management Agency officials were in error when they told National Public Radio that aid to Puerto Rico would end today. NPR published a story Jan. 29 announcing the aid cut-off based on FEMA interviews.

“This aid is not stopping,” FEMA spokesman William Booher told the NYT. “There was no, and is no, current plan to stop providing these commodities, as long as there continues to be an identified need for them.”

Booher told the Times that local FEMA officials mistook the date used in a planning exercise for a date on which aid would cease. He said Jan. 31 was a date FEMA set for evaluating Puerto Rico’s continuing need for aid. He said the agency was not reversing a decision to end aid due to public opposition. Thirty federal legislators had signed a bipartisan letter asking FEMA not to end assistance, according to the NYT.

Distribution of 46 million liters of water and four million meals and snacks that FEMA has moved to the island will not be interrupted, CNN reported. However, Booher told NPR on Jan. 31 that FEMA will not ship additional food and water to Puerto Rico, believing current supplies are sufficient.

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