IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES
June 6, 2013
Mr. Nelson (for himself, Ms. Landrieu, and Mr. Cardin) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations
To measure the progress of recovery and development efforts in Haiti following the earthquake of January 12, 2010, and for other purposes.
This Act may be cited as
Assessing Progress in Haiti
Congress makes the following findings:
According to the Government of Haiti, more than 316,000 people died as a result of the earthquake that struck 15 miles southwest of Port-au-Prince on January 12, 2010, including 103 citizens of the United States and more than 100 United Nations personnel.
According to the United Nations and the International Organization for Migration, an estimated 3,000,000 people were directly affected by the disaster, and more than 2,100,000 people were displaced from their homes.
The Post Disaster Needs Assessment conducted by the Government of Haiti, the United Nations, the World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank, and others estimated that damage and economic losses totaled $7,804,000,000, approximately 120 percent of Haiti’s gross domestic product in 2009.
The initial emergency response of the men and women of the United States Government, led by the United States Agency for International Development and the United States Southern Command, as well as of cities, towns, individuals, businesses, and philanthropic organizations across the United States, was swift and resolute.
According to the Government of Haiti, numerous multilateral agencies such as the United Nations, and international nongovernmental organizations, Haiti faces an ongoing food crisis as a result of the earthquake and subsequent damage caused by tropical storms and hurricanes, as well as long-term neglect of the agriculture sector.
According to the International Organization for Migration, approximately 320,000 people remain in spontaneous and organized camps in Haiti, and reports by the General Accountability Office, the Inspector General for the United States Agency for International Development, and civil society organizations indicate that the pace of recovery and development has lagged significantly behind the emergency relief phase.
On October 21, 2010, an outbreak of cholera was detected and according to the Haitian Ministry of Public Health and Population, as of February 17, 2013, more than 8,000 people had died from cholera and more than 647,500 had been infected with the disease.
The United Nations Office of the Special Envoy for Haiti estimates that, including donor pledges and other support, approximately $6,400,000,000 has been disbursed, with an additional amount of $3,800,000,000 committed, to assist in Haiti’s recovery and development.
The United States Government has appropriated approximately $3,600,000,000 for relief, recovery, and development in Haiti since the earthquake, of which $2,600,000,000 had been disbursed as of March 2013. The United States Government has also provided more than $95,000,000 in aid to combat the cholera epidemic and care for the victims.
Significant challenges remain in Haiti, which will require continued recovery and development aid from the international community for the foreseeable future.
The Haitian diaspora has also played an essential role in Haiti’s reconstruction, and the United States Government should take steps to increase outreach and encourage participation by Haitian Americans in recovery and development activities in Haiti.
Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Comptroller General of the United States shall submit to Congress a report on the status of post-earthquake recovery and development efforts in Haiti, including efforts to prevent the spread of cholera and treat persons infected with the disease.
The report required by subsection (a) shall include the following elements:
An assessment of the progress of recovery and development efforts, as embodied in the Haiti Rebuilding and Development Strategy, compared to what remains to be achieved to meet specific goals, including—
the amount of funds disbursed and any significant changes to the Strategy since January 2010, with an explanation of such changes;
the amounts obligated and expended on United States Government programs and activities since January 2010 to implement the Strategy, including award data on the use of implementing partners at the prime level and at the subprime level of $25,000 and above, and disbursement data from prime implementing partners; and
a description of goals and quantitative and qualitative indicators to evaluate the progress, achievement, or lack of achievement of such goals, within specific time frames, that comprise the Strategy at the program level.
An assessment of the manner in which the Department of State and the United States Agency for International Development are working with ministries and local authorities in Haiti, including the extent to which the Government of Haiti has been consulted on the establishment of goals and time frames and on the design and implementation of new programs under the Strategy.
An assessment of the extent to which civil society and grassroots organizations in Haiti have been consulted on the establishment of goals and time frames and on the design and implementation of new programs under the Strategy.
An assessment of efforts to increase the involvement of the private sector in Haiti in recovery and development activities.
An assessment of how consideration for vulnerable populations, including internally displaced persons, women, children, orphans, and persons with disabilities, have been incorporated in the design and implementation of new programs and infrastructure.
An assessment of how agriculture and infrastructure programs are impacting food security and the livelihoods of smallholder farmers in Haiti.
An assessment of recovery and development coordination among United States Government agencies and between the United States Government and other donors.
A description of the United States Government’s efforts, including diplomatic efforts, to help abate the cholera epidemic in Haiti, in coordination with the Government of Haiti, the United Nations, and other relevant entities.
A description of mechanisms for communicating the progress of recovery and development efforts to people in Haiti.
An assessment of the steps the Government of Haiti is taking to strengthen its capacity to receive individuals who are removed, excluded, or deported from the United States.
Use of previously appropriated funds
Funding for the report required under subsection (a) shall be made available from existing funds appropriated to the Department of State and the United States Agency for International Development for assistance to Haiti, and shall not exceed $75,000.