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9845: Pax Christi USA Haiti Task Force Urgent Action (fwd)

From: MKarshan@aol.com

Lift U.S. Sanctions Against Haiti

Upon returning from a recent mission to Haiti Bishop Tom Gumbleton deplored the injustices of the international community led by the U.S.which prevent Haiti from receiving a $146 million loan from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).  The loan is intended for health care, education and public works like sourcing potable water.

Contracts for the loan (mind you it’s not a grant or a gift) were signed by the government of Haiti with the Directors of the IDB who fully approved the loan toward the end of the year 2000.  At the point of disbursement of funds early this year the U.S. Dept. of State and Secretary of Treasury, in an unprecedented action, exercised their veto power at the IDB.  Since that time the government of Haiti has been fulfilling its interest obligations on the loan (so as not to void the contract) and by the end of 2001 will have paid the IDB almost $10 million for a loan it has not received.  Injustice upon injustice heaped upon a neighbor country and a people in palpable desperation.
Consider the following: 
·   The UN has designated Haiti the third hungriest country in the world.
·   Average Illiteracy rate in rural areas is 85%.
·   Average life expectancy is only 53 years.
·   Dental care is almost non-existent; Medical care - 1.2 doctors to every 10,000. 
·   Infant mortality is 74/1000 births.
·   Less than 40% of the population have access to potable water.

The Pax Christi USA Haiti Task Force joins with Haiti Reborn of Quixote Center, Haiti Action Committee, the Congressional Black Caucus, the Richmond Diocese Haiti Outreach and many other coalition groups to “Lift the U.S Sanctions against Haiti”.

·   Joseph Biden, Chair, U.S. Senate foreign Relations Committee: U.S. Congress: 
800-393-1082 – at the prompt enter your zip code to be connected.
·   Paul H. O’Neill, Sec. Dept. of Treasury, 1500 Penn.Ave. NW, Wash., D.C. 20220
(202) 622-5300; FAX (202) 622-0081
·   Colin Powell, Sec. of State, State Dept., Washington, D.C. 20500 (202) 647-2163
·   President Bush, The White House, 1600 Penn. Ave .NW, Wash.,D.C. 20500
(202)456-1111 and/or (202)456-1414; FAX: (202) 456-2461 
Remind President Bush of the Nov. 8 letter to him  from 38 members of the Congressional Black Caucus requesting a meeting to discuss aid to Haiti.                      The meeting has not yet been scheduled nor has the CBC received a response.

Sources: Haiti Reborn; Haiti Action Committee; Washington Times; IDB website;
Global Market Solutions; Richmond Diocese Haiti Outreach-Justice Issues/Advocacy Working Group