Washington, DC – On Tuesday, April 13th, Congressman Alcee L. Hastings (D-Miramar) introduced the White House Conference on Haiti Act of 2010, a bill directing the President to convene a White House Conference on Haiti within the next calendar year.
“If there is a silver lining to the unimaginable tragedy facing Haiti, it is that out of this, the Haitian people have been given the incredible opportunity to right the wrongs of the past and rebuild their nation stronger than ever before,” Hastings stated. “We cannot let this opportunity go to waste.”
The January 12th, 7.0 magnitude earthquake impacted nearly one-third of Haiti’s population. Prior to the earthquake, there were already nearly 10,000 nongovernmental organizations operating in Haiti and foreign aid made up a significant portion of the nation’s budget. In its aftermath, the international community has pledged over $5 billion to aid in the reconstruction in addition to the efforts of countless private organizations.
Congressman Alcee Hastings
“However, with the possibility to do good comes the very real possibility of waste, duplication, and inefficiencies in the rebuilding and recovery process,” Hastings continued. “Under this bill, the major stakeholders in rebuilding, along with other interested parties, will come together to share their knowledge and best practices and identify gaps in the recovery process. It is my hope that out of this Conference, opportunities for collaboration and coordination in projects big and small will emerge.
“Most importantly, the White House Conference on Haiti will help ensure that the challenges facing the Haitian people remain in the public eye and in the minds of all Americans.
This legislation would not be a costly endeavor, but could stand to save millions of dollars that could be used to improve the lives of the Haitian people for generations to come.”
Joining Congressman Hastings as original co-sponsors (20) are: Representatives John Conyers, Jr. (MI), Kendrick B. Meek (FL), Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (FL), Edolphus Towns (NY), Corrine Brown (FL), Janice D. Schakowsky (IL), Yvette D. Clarke (NY), Charles B. Rangel (NY), Diane E. Watson (CA), Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL), Marcia L. Fudge (OH), Jesse L. Jackson, Jr. (IL), John Lewis (GA), Donna M. Christensen (VI), Raul M. Grijalva (AZ), Eleanor Holmes Norton (DC), Laura Richardson (CA), Bobby L. Rush (IL), Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan (MP), and Anh “Joseph” Cao (LA).