Donald Trump boosts federal assistance to Puerto Rico

US President Donald Trump (File) Top News

President Donald Trump has cleared the way for additional federal funding for storm-ravaged Puerto Rico, as the territory continues to recover from the devastation left by Hurricane Maria. Trump yesterday amended a September disaster declaration to increase the share of rebuilding and recovery costs borne by the federal government on the cash-strapped island.

Trump had already authorised the Federal Emergency Management Agency to pay 100 per cent of some cleanup and emergency costs for 180 days. Washington will now pay 90 per cent of the additional cost of rebuilding Puerto Rico, including repairing public infrastructure like hospitals, bridges and roads, and the costs of rebuilding the island’s devastated power grid.

Typically, US states cover 25 per cent of those costs, with federal taxpayers covering the remaining 75 per cent. Puerto Rico’s finances were in shambles even before the storm made landfall in September.

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