SENATE RESOLUTION 414--EXPRESSING THE SENSE OF THE SENATE ON THE RECOVERY, REHABILITATION, AND REBUILDING OF HAITI FOLLOWING THE HUMANITARIAN CRISIS CAUSED BY THE JANUARY 12, 2010, EARTHQUAKE IN HAITI
(Senate - February 09, 2010)

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[Pages S539-S540]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




   SENATE RESOLUTION 414--EXPRESSING THE SENSE OF THE SENATE ON THE 
    RECOVERY, REHABILITATION, AND REBUILDING OF HAITI FOLLOWING THE 
HUMANITARIAN CRISIS CAUSED BY THE JANUARY 12, 2010, EARTHQUAKE IN HAITI

  Mr. KERRY submitted the following resolution; which was referred to 
the Committee on Foreign Relations:

                              S. Res. 414

       Whereas on January 12, 2010, Haiti suffered an earthquake 
     measuring 7.0 on the Richter scale, the greatest natural 
     disaster in Haiti's history, which--
       (1) devastated Port-au-Prince and the surrounding areas;
       (2) killed more than 100,000 people;
       (3) injured hundreds of thousands more people; and
       (4) left many hundreds of thousands of people homeless;
       Whereas Haiti, which is the poorest country in the Western 
     Hemisphere--
       (1) has an estimated 54 percent of its population living on 
     less than $1 per day;
       (2) has approximately 120,000 people living with HIV;
       (3) had 29,333 new cases of Tuberculosis in 2007; and
       (4) has nearly 400,000 children living in orphanages;
       Whereas despite these challenges, cautious signs of 
     developmental progress and stability were beginning to emerge 
     in Haiti prior to the earthquake;
       Whereas although initial recovery efforts must continue to 
     assist the people of Haiti struggling to secure basic 
     necessities, including food, water, health care, shelter, and 
     electricity, Haiti cannot afford to only focus on its 
     immediate needs;
       Whereas various United States and international assessments 
     indicate that the next priority for the Government of Haiti 
     should be to repair the country's basic infrastructure, 
     including its schools, roads, hospitals, telecommunications 
     infrastructure, and government buildings;
       Whereas Haiti's leaders have advocated that--
       (1) reconstruction should not follow the inefficient 
     practices of the past; and
       (2) Haitians should be given the opportunity to accelerate 
     and implement long planned reforms and new ways of doing 
     business in every sector;
       Whereas Haiti enjoys several advantages that can facilitate 
     its rebuilding, including--
       (1) people committed to education and hard work;
       (2) duty-free, quota-free access to United States markets;
       (3) a large pool of low-cost labor;
       (4) a large, hardworking North American diaspora sending 
     money back to Haiti; and
       (5) regional neighbors who are peaceful, prosperous, and 
     supportive of Haiti's success;
       Whereas international experience from rebuilding other 
     countries recovering from natural disaster confirms that--
       (1) stability and security are essential preconditions to 
     longer-term development; and
       (2) economic development and political reform should 
     relieve poverty and foster governance and social justice;
       Whereas employment is essential to breaking the vicious 
     cycle of poverty, corruption, insecurity, and loss of faith 
     in democracy;
       Whereas the Haitian people, like all people, deserve the 
     income and dignity that gainful employment provides;
       Whereas, in addition to providing emergency assistance and 
     relief, the Government of Haiti must grapple with the longer-
     term issue of how to provide permanent, sustainable shelter 
     to an estimated 1,000,000 Haitians displaced by the 
     earthquake;
       Whereas, the impact of natural disaster on Haiti is--
       (1) exacerbated by weak building codes and poor 
     infrastructure; and
       (2) more fundamentally the result of an impoverished state 
     unable to provide most of its people with minimal public 
     services, including security, clean water, shelter, 
     electricity, health care, and education;
       Whereas assistance to Haiti should be delivered in a manner 
     that enhances, not diminishes, the ability of the state to 
     provide services to its people;
       Whereas the Haitian state should be rebuilt with 
     communities in a central role in the national recovery 
     process led by the Government of Haiti, so that foreign 
     assistance upholds and empowers Haitian mayors, local 
     councils, and municipalities in areas outside of Port-au-
     Prince;
       Whereas international donors and nongovernmental 
     organizations, which have a responsibility to support the 
     Government of Haiti in its rebuilding efforts, should not 
     supplant the ability of local institutions and the government 
     to manage resources and provide essential services:
       Now, therefore, be it
       Resolved, That the Senate--
       (1) urges the United States Government and the 
     international community to provide resources, manpower, and 
     technical assistance to support the Government of Haiti's 
     leadership of international assistance efforts and to conduct 
     a comprehensive post-disaster needs assessment that will 
     focus on--
       (A) social sector services, including access to, and 
     delivery of, basic services, including--
       (i) health care delivery, including reinstating disrupted 
     care and addressing new needs;
       (ii) all levels of education, including ensuring access to 
     lessons as quickly as possible;
       (iii) social support for communities;
       (iv) improving the welfare of children; and
       (v) recognition of the importance of gender equality and 
     the role of women as economic guardians;
       (B) population resettlement, including services and 
     sustainable livelihoods to support new communities and 
     settlements;
       (C) stable and democratic governance, ensuring that the 
     Government of Haiti will appropriately steward state 
     resources through a process embracing transparency, civic 
     participation, political moderation, and institutional 
     accountability;
       (D) economic sustainability, emphasizing employment 
     generation, macroeconomic stability, and market economy 
     sustainability;
       (E) security, ensuring legitimate state efforts to prevent 
     and respond to crime, especially violence, and instilling 
     public order and confidence in Haitian security forces; and
       (F) rule of law, developing a just legal framework that--
       (i) is accountable;
       (ii) provides access to justice; and
       (iii) ensures public order;
       (2) encourages the United States Government and the 
     international community to support the leadership of the 
     Government of Haiti and key nongovernmental and private 
     sector Haitian stakeholders to create a comprehensive 
     national strategy for recovery and development that will--
       (A) be led by the Government of Haiti;
       (B) address the findings from the needs assessment 
     conducted under paragraph (1);
       (C) coordinate new resources flowing into Haiti;
       (D) channel such resources in concrete and specific ways 
     towards key sectoral objectives identified by the Government 
     of Haiti and its people;
       (E) take feasible steps to recognize and rectify the social 
     injustice of poverty, and decrease the vulnerability of the 
     poor, through job creation, the provision of health care, the 
     provision of safe shelter and settlements, food security, and 
     education;
       (F) place communities at the center of the rebuilding 
     process, by employing local labor and consulting local 
     leaders and communities for their experience and vision;
       (G) encourage rebuilding and development of programs that 
     are environmentally sustainable and respectful and 
     restorative of Haiti's natural resources;
       (H) work with the Government of Haiti and the international 
     community to reduce the risk of future disasters, including 
     floods and hurricanes, through the relief and recovery 
     efforts focusing on the most vulnerable communities; and
       (I) address the difficult issues related to land use, land 
     tenure, the need for land for reconstruction, and land price 
     escalations.
       (3) applauds the international community's response to the 
     preliminary appeal for assistance made at Montreal, Canada, 
     on January 25, 2010;
       (4) affirms that--

[[Page S540]]

       (A) the international donors conference for Haiti, which 
     will be held in New York on March 22-23, 2010, is an 
     opportunity for Haiti to accelerate and implement long-
     planned projects and priorities in key infrastructural, 
     economic, and social sectors outlined in a comprehensive 
     national strategy; and
       (B) large-scale international assistance provides 
     significant leverage to promote change and reform in Haiti;
       (C) the international community should be prepared to fully 
     commit to the outcomes of the New York donors conference, 
     including full disbursement and subsequent implementation;
       (5) encourages international financial institutions and 
     international organizations, including the United Nations and 
     the World Bank, to continue their engagement and leadership 
     in support of critical economic and security priorities, 
     including--
       (A) economic and social assistance programs;
       (B) strengthening Haitian national institutions;
       (C) security sector reform;
       (D) ensuring fair and legitimate elections; and
       (E) supporting political and governance reform;
       (6) encourages the International Monetary Fund, the World 
     Bank, and the Inter-American Development Bank, which hold the 
     majority of Haiti's existing external debt obligations, to--
       (A) work together to relieve Haiti of its external debt 
     obligations to the multilateral community and bilateral 
     lenders; and
       (B) seek considerable new resources for Haiti without 
     adding to Haiti's existing debt obligations, primarily 
     through provision of grants; and
       (7) urges the United States Government to ensure unity of 
     effort by assigning a single person to--
       (A) coordinate all aspects of United States assistance to 
     Haiti; and
       (B) work with Congress to responsibly ensure sufficient 
     appropriations to facilitate the long-term and sustainable 
     recovery, rehabilitation, and development of Haiti.

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