Friday, September 12, 2008

Maxine Waters Asks Her Colleagues For Emergency Disaster Assistance For Haiti

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="273" caption="Congresswoman Maxine Waters - August 16, 2008 - photo: ©Randall White "]©Randall White[/caption]

Congresswoman Maxine Waters is circulating a letter among Members of Congress in support of emergency disaster assistance for Haiti.  The letter asks the Speaker of the House of Representatives to provide at least $300 million in appropriations for disaster assistance for Haiti following the devastating hurricanes that swept through that impoverished country.

The following Members of Congress have already agreed to sign the letter:  Maxine Waters, Bill Delahunt, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Barbara Lee, John Conyers, Charles Rangel, Kendrick Meek, Raul Grijalva, Louise Slaughter, Elijah Cummings, Jerrold Nadler, Corrine Brown, Diane E. Watson, Neil Abercrombie, William Jefferson, Jim Langevin, Bennie Thompson, James E. Clyburn, Carolyn B. Maloney, Dennis Kucinich, Edolphus Towns, Sanford Bishop, Bobby Rush, Al Green, Danny K. Davis, G. K. Butterfield, Chaka Fattah, C. A. Ruppersberger, Howard Berman, Henry Waxman, Sheila Jackson-Lee, James L. Oberstar, Peter A. DeFazio, Emanuel Cleaver, Donald Payne, Donna Christensen, Gwen Moore, Yvette D. Clarke, Donna F. Edwards.

The text of the letter is below.

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September 11, 2008

The Honorable Nancy Pelosi
Speaker of the House
H-232 Capitol Building
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515

Dear Speaker Pelosi:

We are writing to request that you include at least $300 million in appropriations for disaster assistance for Haiti following the devastating hurricanes that swept through that impoverished country.

Over the past month, Haiti has been devastated by four deadly storms in rapid succession, Tropical Storm Fay, Hurricane Gustav, Tropical Storm Hanna, and Hurricane Ike.  On Monday, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) reported that 15,134 houses have been damaged or destroyed, and 154 people have been killed.  As the flood waters began to recede, additional bodies have been found and buried.  Tragically, the death toll may never be known.

According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), up to 800,000 people in Haiti are in dire need of humanitarian assistance.  As of September 6th, more than 100,000 people had taken refuge in temporary shelters – and this was before the onslaught of Hurricane Ike.  Many roads and bridges have been damaged or destroyed, and crops have been lost.  There is a desperate need for food, water, and health services.

Haiti is already the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere.  It does not have the capacity to respond to the widespread death and destruction caused by storms of this magnitude.  Immediate assistance from the United States is critical to meet the emergency needs of the Haitian people and begin to rebuild damaged homes and infrastructure.

We urge you to provide an appropriation of at least $300 million in disaster assistance for Haiti in the supplemental appropriations bill or another legislative vehicle that will be passed before Congress adjourns, and we look forward to working with you to help the people of Haiti rebuild their homes and their lives after these unprecedented storms.


Source: Haiti Action

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