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Wed Jan 31, 2018, 03:03 PM

In Reversal, FEMA Says It Won't End Puerto Rico Food And Water Distribution Wednesday

Source: NPR

In Reversal, FEMA Says It Won't End Puerto Rico Food And Water Distribution Wednesday

January 31, 20187:38 AM ET

Updated 12:46 p.m. ET

A spokesman for the Federal Emergency Management Agency said Wednesday that the agency's plan to end its distribution of emergency food and water in Puerto Rico and turn that responsibility over to the Puerto Rican government would not take effect on Jan. 31.

"Provision of those commodities will continue," spokesman William Booher said. A different spokesperson, Delyris Aquino-Santiago, had earlier told NPR that it would "officially shut off" its food and water mission on the island on Jan. 31 and hand its remaining food and water supplies over to the Puerto Rican government to finish distributing. But on Wednesday, Booher said that date "was mistakenly provided."

The agency has been working on that transition but has not finalized it, he said, adding that in the meantime, FEMA will continue providing food and water to communities on the island that need them.

The turnabout came after politicians from both political parties reacted angrily to news of FEMA's plan and after the Puerto Rican government released a statement saying it had not been informed of the impending change. On Tuesday, lawmakers from both parties had called on the agency to reverse its decision.


Read more: https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2018/01/31/582050242/lawmakers-urge-fema-to-reconsider-ending-food-aid-for-puerto-rico

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