Half-Hour for Haiti: Ask Congress To Cancel Haiti’s Debt
The Half-Hour for Haiti alerts will be coming more frequently for a while, because we have so many new and important opportunities to build a better Haiti. So please pitch in now- we promise to give you a break when there are fewer opportunities!
The Petition to Stop Haitian Deportations has 279 signatures, which is an OK start, but the deportations are still happening, so we’ll need more. One of these opportunities is for debt cancellation. Five members of Congress- Rep.s Waters, Frank, Bachus, Hastings and Lee- circulated a letter asking their colleagues to sign on to a letter to World Bank President Robert Zoellick, urging immediate cancellation of Haiti’s debt.
This week is Haiti Reborn’s Haiti Solidarity Week. They’ve got good prayer materials and an action alert up on their website.
If you are on Facebook, join the Friends of the Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti Facebook page. It’s a quick (and not burdensome) way to keep up to date on action alerts, Haiti events and important articles.
This week’s action: Comes from Jubilee USA, asking you to ask your representative to sign the Congressional letter to World Bank President Zoellick. Rep. Waters Office has set a deadline for signatures of February 18. With a long weekend coming up, we’ll all need to call Thursday or Friday of this week to make sure the signatures get on the letter. So call now!
Haiti Needs You: Make A Call for Haiti Today!
Please call your US Representative TODAY and urge him/her to sign on to the Congressional letter to World Bank President Zoellick calling for immediate debt cancellation for Haiti.
1. Dial the Capitol Switchboard – 202-224- 3121. Ask to be connected with your Representative’s office. (Click here to find your Representative).
2. You will be connected with the receptionist. As to speak to the staff person who handles international issues.
3. Whether you speak to the staffer in person, or just leave a message on his/her voicemail, here’s what to say:
“My name is ___________ and I am a constituent from __(your city)___. I am calling to ask that Representative ___________ sign Rep Waters’ letter calling on World Bank President Zoellick (sell – lick) to cancel Haiti’s debt. Haiti should be freed to use its resources for education and health care rather than debt repayment. To sign the letter, contact Kathleen Sengstock in Rep. Waters office”
4. If you are speaking to the staff person be sure to thank them for their time and ask whether they think that the Representative will sign the letter.
5. Let Jubilee know the results of your call, by emailing mimi(at)jubileeusa.org.
The deadline for signatures is 5pm on Wednesday, February 18th, so please act now!
Haiti is scheduled to pay $1.6 million/month in debt payments over the coming six months — $10 million—to the World Bank. The InterAmerican Development Bank has reached an agreement to suspend most of Haiti’s debt payments in this time of crisis. The World Bank needs to do the same.
Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA), Rep. Spencer Bachus (R-AL), and Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) have written a letter to World Bank President Robert Zoellick, urging him to suspend all further debt service payments from Haiti and grant the nation complete debt cancellation. Rep. Waters is asking her colleagues in the House of Representatives to join her by signing the letter. The more Representatives who sign on to the letter, the stronger the message to World Bank President Zoellick – cancel Haiti’s debt and allow the Haitian government to focus on the needs of its people.
Does your Representative already support Haiti? Click here to see if your Representative signed on to a letter last year to former Treasury Secretary Paulson calling for Haiti’s immediate debt cancellation. If so, you can mention this when you call.