Where the Hell Did All That Haiti Money Go? Rep. Maxine Waters Wants to Know

Posted on May 11, 2011

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PRESS RELEASE

May 10, 2011
Contact: Sean Bartlett<mailto:sean.bartlett@mail.house.gov>
For Immediate Release
Phone: (202) 225-2201

Congresswoman Waters Supports Bill Requiring Presidential Report on Relief to
Haiti

Washington – Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), a strong advocate for the
Haitian people in the U.S. Congress, spoke today from the House floor in support
of H.R. 1016<http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-112hr1016ih/pdf/BILLS-112hr1016ih.pdf>
– Assessing Progress in Haiti Act. The bill later passed the House without
opposition.

Below are the Congresswoman’s remarks as prepared for delivery:

“I rise to support this bill to measure the progress of recovery efforts in
Haiti following last year’s devastating earthquake, and I thank my friend and
colleague, Congresswoman Barbara Lee, for introducing this bill.

“Immediately following the earthquake, there was an outpouring of sympathy from
people in the United States and around the world. I introduced H.R. 4573, the
Debt Relief for Earthquake Recovery in Haiti Act, which was signed into law in
April of last year. This law led to the cancellation of approximately $828
million of Haiti’s debts, freeing up resources for the Government of Haiti to
use for earthquake recovery efforts.

“The United Nations held a donors’ conference, which I attended, and the
international community pledged a total of $9.9 billion in reconstruction funds
– including $5.3 billion for the first two years.

“Yet more than one year later, little if any of the money has reached the people
of Haiti. According to the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID),
680,000 displaced people are still living in tent camps. I visited some of
these camps, and the conditions were appalling. There is a critical need for
food, clean water and sanitation facilities. A deadly outbreak of cholera has
already killed more than 4,800 people and infected more than 280,000 people.
The effects of the epidemic were exacerbated by the lack of clean water and
sanitation infrastructure.

“Foreign aid without transparency will accomplish nothing.

“We owe it to the Haitian people – and the American people – to find out how
much of this money was actually delivered to Haiti and where the money went.
That is why I strongly support this bill, which requires the President to report
on the status of post-earthquake relief, recovery, reconstruction, and
development efforts in Haiti. The report must evaluate coordination among
various international agencies and donors; the extent to which U.S. and
international efforts are in line with the priorities of the Government of
Haiti; and mechanisms for Haitian civil society to participate in recovery
efforts.

“I am in awe of the strength and resiliency of the Haitian people. We owe it to
them to assist them in their time of need. We also owe it to them to make
certain our assistance reaches the people who need it most.

“I urge my colleagues to support this bill, and I yield back the balance of my
time.

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To watch video of the Congresswoman’s remarks, click here.<http://www.youtube.com/maxinewaters#p/a/u/0/ejG5kHDIakM>

To read more about Congresswoman Waters’ longtime work on Haiti, click
here.<http://waters.house.gov/Issues/Issue/?IssueID=5163>


Sean Bartlett
Press Secretary
Congresswoman Maxine Waters (CA-35)
2344 Rayburn HOB / Washington, DC 20515
(o) 202.225.2201
(f) 202.225.7854
www.waters.house.gov

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