The dire situation in Puerto Rico and the U.S. government’s slow response has instigated international aid organizations to take the rarest step: deploy aid to an American territory.
These groups usually work in developing countries to relieve poverty and deliver humanitarian aid; wealthy countries are almost never a recipient of their direct interventions.
Among the organizations sending aid: Oxfam, Save the Children, Mercy Corps, and International Medical Corps. The latter three have missions to Iraq, Yemen, and South Sudan. Now, they are also on the ground in Puerto Rico.
Oxfam said Tuesday it was “outraged” at the Trump administration’s response.
“The US has more than enough resources to mobilize an emergency response,” said Oxfam America’s president Abby Maxman, “but has failed to do so in a swift and robust manner.”
“The is unprecedented,” Save the Children’s Greg Ramm told VICE News. He explained that they had never needed to send teams into the United States with equipment and satellite phones used for more remote missions.