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Sheila J.
Democrat TX 18

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  • In Memory of Victims of the Haiti Earthquake

    by Representative Sheila Jackson Lee

    Posted on 2014-01-13

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    JACKSON LEE asked and was given permission to address the House for 1 minute.) Ms. JACKSON LEE. To my Haitian constituents, those of Haitian descent in Houston, Texas, and those around the Nation, I want you to know that we have not forgotten you.



    Mr. Speaker, I rise today in memory of the victims of the Haitian earthquake that took so many hundreds of thousands of Haitian citizens in a terrible, massive disaster. Nearly 4 years after Haiti's devastating earthquake, there is still too little transparency and accountability, with too much work to do and too many Haitians suffering.

    As Haitian Americans are caught up in our broken immigration system, it is important for them to know that we have not forgotten their loved ones. There are close to 300,000 people still living in tent camps, many of whom are facing forced evictions. Although there was a great deal of sympathy and help, now is the time to be able to look to those who are still suffering.

    Cholera has killed over 8,400 Haitians and sickened over 689,000; hundreds of thousands of Haitians have little or no access to potable water or basic health services; Haiti is facing an impending food crisis; and the children are suffering, according to local and international organizations. That is why I have supported H.R. 3509, the Assessing Progress in Haiti Act of 2013. This legislation will give Congress information.

    According to the GAO, Congress lacks information on the amount of funds that have been obligated and disbursed. But Congress must do something. They are our friends and neighbors; they are our allies, and Haiti cannot suffer this alone.

    As I conclude, let me thank the Congressional Black Caucus for the work that it has done. Without ceasing, we will continue to work together and work with this Congress.

    Mr. Speaker, I rise to remember the victims of the massive earthquake in Haiti four years ago.

    Nearly four years after Haiti's devastating earthquake, there is still far too little transparency and accountability around U.S. relief and reconstruction aid efforts.

    There are close to 300,000 people still living in tent camps, many of whom are facing forced evictions. Cholera has killed over 8,400 Haitians and sickened over 689,400 since it was first introduced to Haiti in October of 2010.

    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, and the government of Haiti.

    That is why we should pass H.R. 3509, the ``Assessing Progress in Haiti Act of 2013.'' This legislation, which I am proud to co-sponsor, will greatly assist Congress in overseeing U.S. assistance in Haiti by providing lawmakers, the U.S. public, and Haitians with key details on the manner in which U.S. taxpayer money is being spent.

    According to the GAO, ``Congress lacks information on the amounts of funds obligated and disbursed and program-by-program progress of U.S. reconstruction activities [in Haiti].'' Mr. Speaker, the people of Haiti continue to face tremendous challenges and still need our help.

    That is why it is essential that we ensure that U.S. assistance to Haiti is delivered efficiently is more essential than ever.

    ____________________

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