Sister Donna Markham OP, PhD, president and CEO of Catholic Charities USA, joined Bishop Frank Dewane, chairman of the Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, in writing a letter to the House of Representatives urging swift action on a third disaster supplemental aid package.
The devastating consequences from Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria continue to challenge communities throughout Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Florida and Texas. The first two rounds of supplemental assistance were vital for saving lives in the initial emergency phase of the response, but millions are still requesting FEMA assistance in the affected areas. This number does not include those who have not been able to register due to lack of electricity or cell phone service, particularly in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Through the generosity of its donors, CCUSA has provided more than $24 million in financial support to the local Catholic Charities agencies in the impacted regions. The USCCB, through its Office of National Collections, and bishops throughout the country have been in close solidarity with local churches and helping with financial and other support.
The letter outlines several priorities for the House of Representatives to place in a supplemental aid package.