The following is a June 12, 2014, open letter from organizational leaders calling on Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Senator Robert Menendez and Ranking Member Senator Bob Corker to support swift passage of the Assessing Progress in Haiti Act.
Dear Chairman Menendez and Ranking Member Corker,
We, the undersigned heads of development, faith-based, human rights and social justice organizations, remain steadfast in our commitment to see a just recovery in Haiti after the deadly 2010 earthquake. We write to strongly urge the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to support swift passage and enactment of the Assessing Progress in Haiti Act of 2013 (H.R.3509). This bill, which passed the House of Representatives last December with bipartisan support, provides much needed transparency, accountability and overall policy oversight for U.S. efforts in Haiti.
The Assessing Progress in Haiti Act was originally drafted in 2011 in response to the enormous complexities in providing aid in the aftermath of Haiti’s earthquake. The bill passed the House and the Senate Foreign Relations Committee with your support during the 112th Congress. In June 2013, a General Accounting Office (GAO) report highlighted the concern that “Congress lacks information on the amounts of funds obligated and disbursed and program-by-program progress of U.S. reconstruction activities [in Haiti].” With significant post-earthquake assistance still unspent and the needs of the Haitian people still unmet, it is time for Congress to provide stronger oversight and policy guidance to the State Department. The Assessing Progress in Haiti Act of 2013 would address these significant and unmet needs.