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IJDH Home Home Page / Articles / Press Release: Fully Fund Emergency Assistance for Haiti and Liberia, June 8, 2006


For Immediate Release�������������������������������������������������������������������� Contact:� Mikael Moore

June 8, 2006�������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� (202) 225-2201




Washington, D.C. � On June 6, 2006, Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) sent a letter to the Chairmen and Ranking Members of the Appropriations Committee and the Subcommittee on Foreign Operations Appropriations urging them not to cut emergency assistance for Haiti and Liberia.� The letter was signed by 22 members of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC).� The text of the letter follows:

We write as members of the Congressional Black Caucus to ask you to include $40 million in emergency assistance for Haiti and $50 million in emergency assistance for Liberia in the Conference Report for the Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2006.� These emergency appropriations were added to the Administration�s supplemental request during congressional consideration.

The Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act, as passed by the Senate, includes $40 million for Haiti to increase economic opportunities; support police, judicial and legal reforms; and address critical health needs.� Both the House and the Senate versions of the bill include $50 million for Liberia to facilitate emergency employment activities; infrastructure development projects; democracy, human rights and rule of law programs; and activities to assist with the demobilization of ex-rebel combatants and their reintegration into society.� None of these emergency appropriations were included in the Administration�s original request.� However, they are essential for the respective development of these countries.

Both Haiti and Liberia recently held successful democratic elections.� Large numbers of citizens in each of these countries proved their commitment to democracy by participating in the elections and lining up for hours to vote.� Rene Garcia Preval was elected President of Haiti on February 7, 2006, during national elections in which more than 60 percent of registered voters participated.� Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf was elected President of Liberia on November 8, 2005, in a run-off, following national elections in which 74 percent of registered voters participated.� In addition, President Johnson-Sirleaf is the first woman to be elected president of any country in Africa.

The populations of Haiti and Liberia have each suffered tremendously in past years as a result of poverty, political violence and oppression, and the challenges facing the newly elected governments of these countries are enormous.� They will need the support and assistance of the United States to ensure national reconciliation and development and to improve the lives of their people.� Now is the time for the United States to provide emergency assistance funds that will help these two newly elected governments build a better future for the people they serve.

Therefore, we respectfully urge you to include $40 million for Haiti and $50 million for Liberia in the Conference Report for the Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2006. �We thank you for your attention to our concerns and look forward to working with you to promote democracy and development in Haiti and Liberia.


Maxine Waters������������������������������������������������������������ Donald Payne

Barbara Lee ��������������������������������������������������������������� John Conyers

Charles Rangel������������������������������������������������������������ Gregory Meeks

Donna Christensen������������������������������������������������������� Eleanor Holmes Norton

Edolphus Towns���������������������������������������������������������� Elijah Cummings

Melvin L. Watt������������������������������������������������������������ Sheila Jackson-Lee

Corrine Brown������������������������������������������������������������ Kendrick B. Meek

Robert C. “Bobby” Scott��������������������������������������������� Diane Watson

Cynthia McKinney ������������������������������������������������������ Chaka Fattah

Major R. Owens��������������������������������������������������������� Alcee Hastings

Juanita Millender-McDonald���������������������������������������� Julia Carson

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