November 18, 2013

Congresswoman Barbara Lee Introduces Bill to Assess Reconstruction Progress in Haiti

Washington, D.C. —Today, Congresswoman Barbara Lee introduced H.R. 3509, the Assessing Progress in Haiti Act of 2013, which would require a comprehensive report updating Congress on the progress of the post-earthquake humanitarian, reconstruction, and development efforts in Haiti. The newly introduced bipartisan H.R. 3509 is similar to previous legislation introduced by Congresswoman Lee and is aimed at improving the effectiveness and efficiency of the U.S. Government’s aid efforts in Haiti. The most recent bill takes into account the recommendations made by a recent GAO report and reinstitutes a more robust and comprehensive State Department reporting requirement. This new requirement will provide lawmakers with additional information on disaster reconstruction efforts in Haiti and allow for increased transparency and a more thorough oversight process.

“The Haitian people have continued to demonstrate resiliency, strength, and bravery despite the tragic events that have occurred. It is beyond time that in turn, Congress supports Haiti to ensure that relief and reconstruction funds in Haiti are effectively spent to maximize their long term impact,” said Congresswoman Barbara Lee.

The January 12, 2010 earthquake killed over 300,000 people, left over one million homeless, and crippled the ability of the Haitian government to provide security and deliver services. Despite the billions of dollars pledged to Haiti, more than 350,000 Haitians remain internally displaced and it is unclear what sustainable impact American relief funds have had.

Congresswoman Lee continued, “We need to make certain that the people of Haiti are on the road to recovery and not forgotten. Almost four years after one of the most catastrophic earthquakes in history, we have very little accountability and oversight in the recovery efforts, and we need to change that.”

In order to address these significant challenges, the Assessing Progress in Haiti Act of 2013 would make certain that Congress continues to maintain their humanitarian responsibility to ensure that relief and reconstruction funds in Haiti are effectively spent to maximize a sustainable long term impact.

Original co-sponsors include:

Rep Bass, Karen
Rep Clarke, Yvette D.
Rep Conyers, John, Jr.
Rep Diaz-Balart, Mario
Rep Engel, Eliot L.
Rep Meeks, Gregory W.
Rep Radel, Trey
Rep Rangel, Charles B.
Rep Ros-Lehtinen, Ileana
Rep Royce, Edward R.
Rep Waters, Maxine
Rep Wilson, Frederica S. 



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Congresswoman Barbara Lee is a former Co-Chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) and currently serves as CPC Whip and Chair of the Task Force on Global Peace and Security. Congresswoman Lee serves as a representative from the United States to the 68th General Assembly of the United Nations.