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United States: A Year After Hurricane Sandy, Thousands of People Wait for Help

Nov 7, -- A year after Hurricane Sandy, uncertainty continues to dominate the thousands of victims of the U.S. city of New York, who have seen but a trickle of the federal aid promised for the damages caused by the storm that left over a hundred dead and 65 thousand million dollars in damages.

The US Congress took 3 months to approve a plan for the area, including 50 thousand million dollars. As of today, only a fraction of the money for recovery has materialized, in what appears to be a slow and ineffective process.

Frustration hangs over some 22,000 New York families waiting for rebuilt housing after their homes were destroyed by the storm, while for others the living conditions have become even more complicated.

The New York organization, Make the Road, said that to aggravate things, many families that found a new home, now pay up to 70% of their income on rent.

Immigrants and economically disadvantaged populations, were the most affected ones and are still suffering the most. A year later, Sandy is still considered the second most devastating hurricane in U.S. history, only surpassed by Katrina in 2005.

According to reports, the only help afforded to many immigrants from the Federal Emergency Management was some money to pay the deposit and one month's rent to move into as new place.

Modest neighborhoods like Queens, where recovery is only partial, contrast with the now fully restored tourist areas of the city.

The picture is similar in New Jersey, also heavily hit by the storm. Lonely lots, debris of houses that do not exist and houses under construction are still part of the landscape.

Similarly, many small businesses have not been able to reopen its doors for lack of funds; others have chosen to shut down for keeps.

The Governor of New Jersey, Chris Christie, estimated that his state will take approximately two years to recover and recognized that there "there are still thousands of people without homes."

For many, it is unacceptable that the country spends large sums to manufacture sophisticated weapons and finance wars like Iraq and Afghanistan, and one year after Hurricane Sandy, many people are still left dangling.

Edited by Juan Leandro
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