Urge Congress to Provide Needed Funds.
ACTION: Urge your members of Congress to approve a supplemental spending bill for Haiti that includes robust funding for humanitarian aid and development assistance.
BACKGROUND: On March 24, President Obama sent his request to Congress for a supplemental spending bill to support relief and reconstruction efforts in Haiti throughout the remainder of 2010. Given the extent of devastation and more than 3 million people affected by the January 12 earthquake, it is vital that Congress votes to support this funding.
Disaster Aid: With more than 230,000 people killed, 300,000 people injured, and at least 1.7 million forced from their homes by the earthquake, Haiti will require ongoing support throughout 2010 to address emergency needs in health, nutrition, shelter, sanitation and more. The rainy season and hurricane season, anticipated for later this year, will only exacerbate this situation.
Reconstruction Assistance: In addition to immediate needs, the process of rebuilding Haiti requires a commitment to long-term sustainable development. At the March 31 donor’s conference the U.S. pledged $1.15 billion for Haiti’s long-term recovery and reconstruction. Congress must move quickly to appropriate necessary funds to begin to meet that commitment.
FAITH REFLECTION: “A voice was heard in Ramah, wailing and loud lamentation, Rachel weeping for her children; she refused to be consoled, because they are no more” (Jer. 31:15; Matt. 2:18). Our hearts are broken by the suffering of the Haitian people. Yet our spirits have been uplifted by the witness of Haitian people, by their stories of courage and compassion, in being themselves the greatest first responders to those in need in their midst. The tragedy in Haiti must call forth our own and our country’s most compassionate response and elicit a more mutually respectful and mutually beneficial U.S.-Haiti relationship in the future.