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9616: Cong. Barbara Lee & Donna Christensen in Congress on Haiti (fwd)
Congresswoman Barbara Lee:
HAITI AND FUNDING FROM THE INTER-AMERICAN DEVELOPMENT BANK -- (House of
Representatives - November 15, 2001)
(Ms. LEE asked and was given permission to address the House for 1 minute
and to revise and extend her remarks.)
Ms. LEE. Mr. Speaker, I rise to urge the United States to lift its block
on approved loans by the Inter-American Development Bank to Haiti.
Haiti is now in the midst of a political impasse that began months after
the May, 2000 elections, and has become a national crisis. The United States
has since blocked foreign assistance, as well as international financial
institutions' funding for Haiti.
Meanwhile, a severe humanitarian disaster looms large over the population
of 8 million people, including a devastating HIV/AIDS pandemic, extreme
poverty, and high infant mortality rates.
We must address this injustice. The people of Haiti need our support. Our
country can help alleviate human suffering in this country in the Western
Hemisphere. We must release these approved loans. They are not grants, mind
you, but they are loans to Haiti.
Congresswoman Donna M. Christensen (Virgin Islands):
HUMANITARIAN CRISIS IN HAITI -- (House of Representatives - November 15, 2001)
(Mrs. CHRISTENSEN asked and was given permission to address the House for
1 minute and to revise and extend her remarks.)
Mrs. CHRISTENSEN. Mr. Speaker, I rise to speak of humanitarian crisis, not
half a world away in Afghanistan, but in our own hemispheric neighborhood of
Mr. Speaker, airline security, the economy and the war have our full
attention, and rightfully so, but closer to us in Haiti, the last election
has been hopelessly deadlocked with no resolution in sight.
To compound the problem, because of the opposition of some to the outcome
of those elections, our country and international financial institutions
which hold the lifeline of aid dollars to this struggling democracy have
blocked the release of loans to Haiti.
This has created a crippling effect of economic consequences where the
poorest country in our hemisphere cannot meet its financial obligations and
food, medicine and life itself have been hung in the balance for 8 million
Let us not make the same mistake and ignore another country's turmoil,
until a disaster too great for the imagination or easy recovery unfolds.
The people of Haiti need food, medicine and funds to combat an HIV
infection rate of 4 percent of the population, an infant mortality rate of 74
deaths out of every 1,000 babies born and to improve their quality of life.
Mr. Speaker, the people of Haiti have voted and they know who they want to
govern them. Let us respect that and allow the dollars for food and medicine
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