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Sheila J.
Democrat TX 18

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  • Assessing Progress in Haiti Act of 2013

    by Representative Sheila Jackson Lee

    Posted on 2013-12-12

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    JACKSON LEE. Mr. Speaker, let me thank the ranking member and the chairman of the full committee for their leadership and also for the bipartisan leadership that is noted on the Foreign Affairs Committee on which I had privilege to serve some years ago when we worked on a number of issues.

    Let me add my appreciation to the Congresswoman from California, Barbara Lee, who led us during her tenure as the chairman of the Black Caucus during an enormous crisis in Haiti and, more importantly, as a supporter of this legislation and efforts to see Haiti move into a new era of democracy and reconstruction.

    This legislation, H.R. 3509, is long overdue. I ask my colleagues to enthusiastically support it.

    I traveled to Haiti on any number of occasions, visiting those who are incarcerated in jails, and even after the earthquake, to find individuals who were suffering and had been incarcerated and seeing people who had lost their place to live, children who were out of school, and resources that were looking to be directed but possibly, Mr. Speaker, not being directed as they should.

    This legislation, of course, will do several things. It will require a thorough assessment of the progress in meeting the original goals expressed in January 2011, Post-Earthquake U.S. Haiti Strategy; provide a description of efforts to combat corruption and ensure public accountability; and assess whether or not vulnerable populations have been taken into account in the design and implementation of the new program.

    It is very important to note that even though much has been done, between the efforts of the international community and including USAID, up to 3,000 people still live in tent camps, many of whom are facing forced evictions as time moves on.

    Cholera has killed over 8,400 Haitians and sickened over 689,400 since the time of this earthquake. Hundreds of thousands of Haitians have little or no access to potable water or basic health services, and Haiti is facing an impending food crisis, according to local and international organizations.

    The SPEAKER pro tempore. The time of the gentlewoman has expired.

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