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Rihanna urges Donald Trump not to ignore the people dying in Puerto Rico in the wake of Hurricane Maria

Many celebrities are attempting to help in the wake of this immense disaster.

France: Brigitte Macron Receives Rihanna Source: SIPA USA/PA Images

AS HEAD OF the Clara Lionel Foundation which funds health and emergency response programs around the world, Rihanna’s no stranger to helping those in need.

At present there is a huge crisis in Puerto Rico. 3.4 million people have been hugely affected by Hurricane Maria, which involved a 50-mile-wide tornado that directly hit the island.

Puerto Rico Hurricane Maria Source: AP/PA Images

These people are receiving nowhere near enough and aside from high priority buildings like hospitals, there is no electricity on the island. There are huge areas with no drinking water, no water to bathe in and no water to flush toilets with. Cellular coverage was wiped out, so the people of Puerto Rico have no contact with the outside world.

As United States territory, Puerto Rico should be receiving a lot more aid than it currently is. However, Trump’s response… Well. It’s a Trump response. On Tuesday he said:

This is an island sitting in the middle of an ocean. And it’s a big ocean. It’s a very big ocean. And we’re doing a really good job.”

People in Puerto Rico say that U.S. relief efforts are failing them. They’re running out of food, many have yet to witness any federal help. Infrastructure and agriculture has been destroyed. 80% of the island’s crops were destroyed by the hurricane.

Puerto Rico Hurricane Maria Source: Gerald Herbert

Trump plans to visit the island on October 3rd, announcing “It’s the earliest I can go”, despite the fact the disaster occurred over a week ago.

Rihanna called on the president to stop letting his ‘people die like this’.

It is expected that the death toll will reach at least several hundred.

People are pleased with Rihanna using her platform to publicly address the president’s ‘lacklustre‘ response.

Others remain critical of how Trump is dealing with the crisis.

Meanwhile, cruise ship company Royal Caribbean has been evacuating Puerto Ricans from the island.

Rapper Pitbull has been using his private jet to fly cancer patients out of Puerto Rican hospitals for treatment in the US, as some hospitals are currently not functioning.

Pitbull performs in San Antonio, Texas Source: Ralph Arvesen

Beyoncé has released a remix of Columbian singer J Balvin’s track Mi Gente for charities in aid of the tragedy.

Source: jbalvinVEVO/YouTube

New York-Puerto Rican rapper Princess Nokia has started a GoFundMe to go to Puerto Rico and help out in every way she can.

She has been unable to contact her grandfather in Puerto Rico and is very worried.

Source: Princess Nokia/YouTube

Donations are extremely important, but federal assistance is an absolute necessity.

The economy of Puerto Rico was in a very bad state before this hurricane hit. They declared bankruptcy in May and are $70 billion in debt.

Vox explain that people on the island are ‘forced to pay nearly double for U.S. goods through various tarriffs, fees and taxes’ due to an ‘antiquated law’ called the Jones-Shafroth Act. This makes recovery even more difficult, considering the fact that $800 million worth of their crops were destroyed by the hurricane.

Puerto Rico Hurricane Maria Source: Gerald Herbert

If you would like to donate, a campaign run through Global Giving is attempting to raise $5 million to help Puerto Rico and the other Caribbean islands affected by the hurricane. So far they have hit the $2.7 million mark.

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Kelly Earley

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