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Public Statements

Haiti Debt Relief And Earthquake Recovery Act Of 2010

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Madam Speaker, I am proud to be an original cosponsor of H.R. 4573.

As my colleagues have explained, this bill calls on the U.S. Secretary of the Treasury to take certain measures to enable Haiti's debt relief and to provide additional assistance to Haiti from multilateral development institutions in the form of grants.

The United States cancelled all of Haiti's outstanding debt to the U.S. in September of last year.

Similarly, Haiti has already received hundreds of millions of dollars in debt relief from the World Bank and Inter-American Development Bank, IDB.

However, it still retains significant debt to various bilateral donors, the IMF, and the IDB.

By passing this measure, we can help to minimize the enormous fiscal pressures facing the Government of Haiti in the aftermath of its tragic earthquake so that its limited resources may be used for more immediate priorities.

Also, by encouraging the use of grants versus loans, Haiti will have the opportunity to take advantage of certain resources from these institutions without increasing its future financial burdens.

This bill will help prevent Haiti from getting in over its head at a time when every penny counts.

It also recognizes the important role that other bilateral donors play in the long-term recovery efforts of Haiti.

By calling on other bilateral, multilateral and private creditors to provide debt cancellation to Haiti, H.R. 4573 underscores the concept of shared responsibility.

An integrated approach based on a coordinated and transparent distribution of responsibilities will prove essential to a successful response to Haiti's catastrophic disaster.

I thank Congresswoman Waters for introducing this important measure.


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