Washington – The House Financial Services Committee adopted an amendment by Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA) to conduct oversight over the situation in Haiti one year after a devastating earthquake and relief and reconstruction efforts in the country. She offered the amendment jointly with Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY) during a markup of the Committee’s oversight plan for the 112th Congress. The amendment was adopted by the Committee without opposition by a voice vote.
“I am pleased that my colleagues agreed to conduct oversight over the dire economic situation facing the people of Haiti and the efforts of international donors to rebuild the country. Unfortunately, one year after Haiti’s tragic earthquake, the country is still devastated. More than 800,000 displaced people are still living in tent camps, and the conditions in many of these camps are appalling. A cholera epidemic has spread across the country. Mountains of rubble are piled in the streets, and there is a critical need for food, clean water and sanitation facilities. Meanwhile, little if any of the money that was pledged by international donors has reached the people of Haiti,” said Congresswoman Waters.
Following last year’s earthquake, an international donors’ conference was convened to raise funds for Haiti’s reconstruction. World governments and international organizations pledged $9 billion to rebuild Haiti. The World Bank pledged $399 million, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) pledged $170 million, and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) pledged $2.2 billion. Within the House of Representatives, the Financial Services Committee has oversight responsibilities over the IMF, the World Bank, and the IDB.
“Effective oversight is critical if the billions pledged by the IMF, the World Bank and other international donors are to be disbursed in a timely manner and used effectively to improve the lives of the Haitian people,” said Congresswoman Waters.
Congresswoman Waters has been a friend of Haiti for many years. Immediately after the earthquake, she introduced the Debt Relief for Earthquake Recovery in Haiti Act (H.R. 4573) to cancel Haiti’s debts. The bill was supported by several members of the Financial Services Committee, including then-Chairman Barney Frank and then-Ranking Member Spencer Bachus. The bill passed the House by voice vote and was signed into law on April 26, 2010.