Haiti Empowerment, Assistance, and Rebuilding Act of 2010

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Thursday, August 5, 2010
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H.R.6021Haiti Empowerment, Assistance, and Rebuilding Act of 2010 (Introduced in House - IH)

HR 6021 IH


2d Session

H. R. 6021

To authorize appropriations for fiscal years 2010 through 2014 to promote long-term, sustainable rebuilding and development in Haiti, and for other purposes.


July 30, 2010

Mr. CONYERS (for himself, Mr. BERMAN, Ms. LEE of California, Ms. WATSON, Ms. WATERS, Mr. LEWIS of Georgia, Ms. NORTON, Ms. RICHARDSON, Mr. RUSH, Ms. SCHAKOWSKY, Ms. JACKSON LEE of Texas, Mrs. CHRISTENSEN, Mr. STARK, Mr. TOWNS, Ms. EDDIE BERNICE JOHNSON of Texas, Ms. CORRINE BROWN of Florida, Ms. CLARKE, and Mr. JACKSON of Illinois) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Foreign Affairs


To authorize appropriations for fiscal years 2010 through 2014 to promote long-term, sustainable rebuilding and development in Haiti, and for other purposes.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,


    This Act may be cited as the `Haiti Empowerment, Assistance, and Rebuilding Act of 2010'.


    Congress makes the following findings:

      (1) On January 12, 2010, Haiti suffered an earthquake measuring 7.0 on the Richter magnitude scale, the greatest natural disaster in Haiti's history, which--
        (A) devastated Port-au-Prince and the surrounding areas;

        (B) killed more than 230,000 people;

        (C) injured hundreds of thousands more people;

        (D) left many hundreds of thousands of people homeless;

        (E) left many people with newly acquired disabilities, including limb loss and other physical and mental trauma; and

        (F) disrupted social structures and families through death, injury, and relocation.
      (2) The scale of the initial relief effort was unprecedented, with many countries, hundreds of organizations, and thousands of people generously contributing to a massive influx of supplies, resources, and personnel to support search and rescue operations and humanitarian assistance, underlying one of the most effective relief efforts in history.

      (3) Prior to the earthquake, Haiti was the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, with--

        (A) an estimated 54 percent of its population living on less than $1 per day;

        (B) approximately 120,000 people living with HIV;

        (C) 29,333 new cases of tuberculosis in 2007;

        (D) nearly 50,000 children living in orphanages;
        (E) 55 percent of school-aged children not attending school; and

        (F) an estimated 800,000 people with disabilities.

      (4) Despite these challenges, cautious signs of developmental progress and stability were beginning to emerge in Haiti before the earthquake after years of security challenges and natural disasters that weakened the economy and slowed the consolidation of democracy and good governance.

      (5) 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.

      (6) Haiti's leaders have advocated that--

        (A) reconstruction should not follow the inefficient and poorly coordinated practices of the past, but should build back better; and
        (B) Haitians should be assisted and supported in accelerating and implementing long-planned reforms and new ways of doing business in every sector.

      (7) Haiti enjoys several advantages that can facilitate its rebuilding, including--

        (A) people committed to education and hard work;

        (B) proximity and duty-free access to United States markets;

        (C) a large, hardworking North American diaspora, which remits generous amounts of money back to Haiti every year; and

        (D) many regional neighbors who are peaceful, prosperous, and supportive of Haiti's success.
      (8) The experiences of other countries that have successfully recovered from serious natural disasters confirm that--

        (A) when the people and other civil society actors in an affected country play a significant role in the design and execution of the rebuilding efforts, the efforts are often more sustainable and more in line with the needs and aspirations of local populations;

        (B) when the government of the affected country plays a leading role in the planning and execution of the rebuilding efforts, there is a higher probability of reforms being long-lasting and coordinated with the long-term planning and development efforts of the affected country;

        (C) every effort should be made to incorporate, at the earliest time possible, market-based employment and economic development opportunities to allow people to take ownership of their long-term self sufficiency;

        (D) stability and security are essential preconditions to longer-term development;

        (E) education is critical to securing a better future for the people in the affected country;
        (F) removing gender disparities spurs macroeconomic growth; and

        (G) projects that integrate gender are more likely to achieve their overall goals.

      (9) Employment is essential to breaking the vicious cycle of poverty, insecurity, and lack of faith in democracy.

      (10) In addition to providing emergency assistance and relief, the Government of Haiti must grapple with the longer-term issues of how to--

        (A) provide permanent, sustainable shelter to an estimated 1,300,000 Haitians displaced by the earthquake;

        (B) ensure that communities are at the center of the rebuilding process, by employing local labor and consulting with local leaders and communities;
        (C) provide health care in a sustainable and comprehensive manner that is accessible to all Haitians; and

        (D) provide all children with access to education.

      (11) The impact of natural disaster on Haiti is exacerbated by--

        (A) the lack of enforcement of earthquake-resistant construction procedures, weak building codes, and massive private sector economic losses that hinder the ability of people to purchase materials of sufficient quality to rebuild existing buildings;

        (B) a government that has long struggled to provide its people with minimal public services, including security, clean water, shelter, electricity, health care, and education; and

        (C) underinvestment in infrastructure and development in rural areas and secondary cities outside of Port-au-Prince.
      (12) Assistance to Haiti should be delivered in a manner that enhances the ability of the Government of Haiti to improve democratic, transparent governance and to use credible government institutions to provide services to its people.

      (13) Local communities should play a central role in the rebuilding of Haiti, while the national recovery process is led by the Government of Haiti in such a way that foreign assistance upholds the primacy of Haitian government institutions in the rebuilding effort.

      (14) International donors and nongovernmental organizations--

        (A) have a responsibility to support the Government of Haiti in its rebuilding efforts;

        (B) are critical to the success of the recovery and reconstruction efforts;

        (C) are key to the provision of services in the near term;
        (D) can build capacity for national institutions, both governmental and nongovernmental, to take over the management and provision of essential services over the medium term;

        (E) should support and encourage rebuilding and development of programs which are environmentally sustainable and respectful and restorative of Haiti's natural resources;

        (F) should work with the Government of Haiti to improve the educational system and to ensure that all children have access to an education; and

        (G) should work with the Government of Haiti and the international community to better predict, anticipate, and protect against future disasters.

      (15) The circumstances following the earthquake in Haiti provide a real opportunity for Haiti--

        (A) to break the cycle of poverty and unrealized expectations that has marked Haiti's history; and
        (B) to establish a new framework for sustained economic development through a commitment of engagement from the United States, other donors, and multilateral organizations to support the Government of Haiti and the Haitian people as they undertake the long rebuilding process.


    In this Act:

      (1) AGENCY- The term `agency' has the meaning given the term in section 551(1) of title 5, United States Code.

      (2) APPROPRIATE CONGRESSIONAL COMMITTEES- The term `appropriate congressional committees' means the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate and the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the House of Representatives.

      (3) HAITI REBUILDING AND DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY; STRATEGY- The terms `Haiti Rebuilding and Development Strategy' and `Strategy' mean the multi-year strategy to provide assistance in support of the reconstruction and rebuilding of Haiti prepared pursuant to section 6.
      (4) SENIOR HAITI COORDINATOR- The term `Senior Haiti Coordinator' means the Senior Coordinator of the United States Government for Haiti appointed pursuant to section 5.


    It is the policy of the United States, in partnership with the Government of Haiti and in coordination with the international community, to--

      (1) support the sustainable recovery and rebuilding of Haiti in a manner that--

        (A) encourages greater economic equality;

        (B) embraces Haitian independence, self-reliance, democratic governance, and efficiency;
        (C) supports collaboration with the Haitian government and consultation with Haitian and international civil society; and

        (D) incorporates the potential of both women and men to contribute equally and to their maximum efficiency;

      (2) affirm and build a long-term partnership with Haiti in support of--

        (A) just, democratic, and competent governance including--

          (i) an independent, efficient, and effective judicial system;

          (ii) parliamentary strengthening;
          (iii) political pluralism, equality, and the rule of law;

          (iv) civil society, governance institutions, and political parties that are representative and peaceful;

          (v) transparency and accountability among all branches of government and judicial proceedings, including supporting anti-corruption efforts among bureaucrats, elected officials, and public servants at all levels of security and government administration; and

          (vi) security, by--

            (I) ensuring legitimate state efforts to prevent and respond to crime, especially violence;

            (II) instilling public order and confidence in, and increasing the capacity of, Haitian security institutions; and
            (III) reforming local and national police forces through professional training and equipment;

        (B) providing a foundation for economic growth and economic sustainability, through investments--

          (i) in essential infrastructure, including transport and energy;

          (ii) in sustainable urban development and improved urban management by identifying, developing, and implementing a long-term, sustainable framework for future growth and development in urban areas that will ensure appropriate environmental and resource management, appropriate disaster response plans, and expand access to basic shelter, affordable urban housing, energy, clean water, sanitation services, and essential urban services and infrastructure;

          (iii) to rebuild Haiti's competitiveness and private sector in order to foster employment generation, including policies to encourage investment and open world consumer markets to Haitian exports;

          (iv) in food security and rural and agricultural development, particularly of food staples and other crops that provide economic growth and income opportunities in times of shortage; and
          (v) that recognize and address where obstacles related to gender limit, hinder, or suppress women's economic productivity and gain;

        (C) environmentally sustainable programs that are respectful and restorative of Haiti's natural resources and build community-level resilience to environmental and weather-related impacts, including--

          (i) programs to reduce and mitigate the effects of natural disaster, including floods and hurricanes;

          (ii) programs to address land use, land tenure, land for reconstruction, and land price escalation issues;

          (iii) programs and associated support to reduce deforestation and increase the rates of afforestation and reforestation in Haiti, including through diversification of Haiti's energy sources; and

          (iv) programs to address safe drinking water, sanitation, hygiene, water resource management, and other water related issues;
        (D) investments in people, particularly women and children, including--

          (i) supporting the Government of Haiti, in coordination with nongovernmental education providers, to rehabilitate and improve Haiti's education sector with the goal of providing access to quality education for all children;

          (ii) ensuring that women's needs are appropriately integrated across all sectors, including governance, security, and development, and in program assessment, design, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation, with a goal of promoting access, inclusion, and empowerment;

          (iii) health care delivery and capacity building to strengthen the overall health care system;

          (iv) supporting programs, activities, and initiatives that provide or promote equal opportunity, full participation, independent living, and economic self-sufficiency for individuals with disabilities; and

          (v) strengthening the child welfare system--
            (I) to ensure the protection of children from violence, abuse, exploitation, and neglect;

            (II) to support family preservation and reunification and prevent child abandonment, to the extent possible;

            (III) to ensure that children without family care receive safe, developmentally appropriate care; and

            (IV) to end the practice and exploitation of child domestic servants (referred to in Haiti as `restaveks'), by offering families education, support, and alternatives;

      (3) support, pursuant to the strategic objectives in paragraph (2) and in coordination with other donors--

        (A) the institutional development and capacity building of the Government of Haiti at the national, local, and community levels so that the Government of Haiti--
          (i) can better ensure basic services to its population, including health care, education, and other basic social services; and

          (ii) will be an effective steward of state resources through a transparent process of equitable resource allocation that includes a broad range of participation from Haitian civil society;

        (B) Haitian civil society organizations that are committed to making a positive contribution to the rebuilding and sustainable development of Haiti;

        (C) people-to-people engagement between the United States and Haiti, through increased educational, technical, and cultural exchanges and other methods;

        (D) significant contributions to a multilateral trust fund that will be established to enhance the reconstruction and rebuilding of Haiti; and

        (E) a Haitian government budget that is appropriately sized to fulfill the functions expected of the budget for the delivery of essential public services, including arrangements to ensure transparency and accountability for the funds provided to the budget of the Haitian government; and
      (4) promote development and rebuilding efforts in Haiti that are led by, and in support of, all levels of government in Haiti, including national and local governments, so that--

        (A) the Government and people of Haiti lead the vision for reconstruction and rebuilding of Haiti;

        (B) resources are channeled in concrete and specific ways toward key sectoral objectives identified by the Government of Haiti and its people;

        (C) feasible steps are taken to recognize and rectify the social injustice of poverty and gender inequality and to decrease the vulnerability of the poor, through job creation, access to education, the provision of health care, the provision of safe shelter and settlements, and food security;

        (D) communities are placed at the center of the rebuilding process, by employing local labor and consulting local leaders and communities for their experience and vision;

        (E) rebuilding and development programs are environmentally sustainable and respectful and restorative of Haiti's natural resources; and
        (F) the Haiti Rebuilding and Development Strategy builds from and supports--

          (i) existing assessments for Haiti, including the Post Disaster Needs Assessment;

          (ii) the Government of Haiti's Action Plan for the Reconstruction and National Development of Haiti;

          (iii) other existing development plans for Haiti, including the Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper for Haiti; and

          (iv) shared principles in the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness and the Accra Agenda for Action.