AbbVie, a Chicago-based global biopharmaceutical company, has announced gifts of $50 million each to Direct Relief and Habitat for Humanity International to strengthen access to health care and housing in Puerto Rico.
Direct Relief will use the funds to rebuild and strengthen Puerto Rico's primary healthcare system so it is better able to withstand future hurricanes and power outages. Over the next three years, the organization will work to provide more than sixty community health centers and local healthcare facilities — which together provide care to some three hundred and fifty thousand Puerto Ricans — with access to more reliable energy sources, including solar power, battery storage, and generators, and will help them develop the capacity to produce their own clean water. The organization also plans to fund mobile health units, train and support an expanded medical workforce, improve the island's access to a reliable supply of medicines, and introduce telemedicine programs at select hospitals and health centers.
Over the next five years, Habitat for Humanity will work to help some thirteen thousand hurricane-affected residents of the island with repairs, construction assistance, and workforce training. And through its work to advance policy and systems reforms, Habitat also expects to make significant progress in aiding many of the estimated 1.3 million Puerto Ricans who live in housing that was built without clear title or permits and thus face barriers to making repairs or initiating new construction.
"AbbVie has a longstanding commitment to the people of Puerto Rico, having operated on the island for nearly fifty years," said AbbVie chairman and CEO Richard A. Gonzalez. "Last year's hurricanes were devastating, but we are proud that — thanks to the sacrifices made by our colleagues in Puerto Rico — our operations were not disrupted, and patients relying on our treatments could continue to receive them. We deeply appreciate the hard work of our employees, and all the people of Puerto Rico, and we hope today's announcement will deepen and strengthen our long relationship. Together with Direct Relief and Habitat for Humanity, we will build a stronger healthcare infrastructure and contribute meaningfully to the rebuilding of homes."