Sunday, March 14, 2010

Lawmakers in U.S. Reject Direct Aid to Haitian Government

(RHC) - U.S. President Barack Obama hosted Haitian President René Préval at the White House as part of Preval’s visit with top U.S. officials in Washington. The Haitian government is finalizing an aid proposal ahead of an international donors’ conference scheduled for later this month.

Obama pledged to help Haiti rebuild following the devastating earthquake. The U.S. president told reporters: “As President Preval and I discussed, the situation on the ground remains dire, and people should be under no illusions that the crisis is over. Many Haitians are still in need, desperate need in some cases, of shelter and food and medicine. And with the spring rains approaching, those needs will only grow. The challenge now is to prevent a second disaster.”

Despite Obama’s comments, Preval’s pleas for U.S. assistance to his government have fallen mostly on deaf ears. In an interview with The Washington Post, Preval said Congressional leaders gave a cool reception to his request for help in overcoming a projected $350 million dollar budget shortfall.

Two weeks after the earthquake, the Associated Press reported the Haitian government is receiving less than a penny for each dollar the United States spends on aid efforts in Haiti. Thirty-three cents of every dollar was then going to U.S. military aid, over three times the nine cents spent on food.

Source: Periodico26

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