Responding to Devastation in Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico took a direct hit from Hurricane Maria on September 20. The full extent of damage and casualties are not yet known, but it’s clear that this catastrophic event, 12 days on the heels of Hurricane Irma, will continue to unfold over the coming days and months.

Lilly started operations in Puerto Rico in 1965. We have an affiliate, two manufacturing sites and a small sales force there. More than 1,000 Lilly employees call Puerto Rico home.

Our hearts go out to our colleagues and neighbors.

Last week, the Lilly Foundation committed $125,000 in cash to aid with immediate needs. As the dire circumstances have become clearer, we’ve moved to do even more.

In response to a request from the Puerto Rican Department of Health, Lilly sent an emergency shipment of insulin and other supplies to the island on September 24. Before the sun rose, we packed a plane with nearly 2,400 insulin vials and pens, which will treat about 1,000 people for 30 days. The shipment included glucagon and emergency supplies for our employees, including food, water, batteries, generators and diapers.

In addition, the Lilly Foundation announced today an additional $500,000 commitment to support recovery efforts in Puerto Rico. With power likely to be out for months, it will take Puerto Rico years to recover from the damage to its infrastructure.

Our local affiliate, backed by corporate resources, is helping with urgent needs for Lilly employees and their families displaced by Hurricane Maria. Their safety is our first priority.

Of course, Hurricane Maria is just the latest in a string of devastating natural disasters, including hurricanes Harvey and Irma, and the earthquakes in Mexico. In the wake of these events, Lilly has donated nearly $7 million in medicines and the Lilly Foundation has contributed $1.25 million in cash for recovery efforts.

These contributions are small in the face of the enormity of these challenges. But when we pull together, I am always reminded of how astoundingly resilient we can be.

Rob Smith

Senior Director

Lilly Corporate Responsibility