Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

Half-Hour for Haiti: Urge Your Rep. to Sign Letter to World Bank for Debt Relief



Some good news from Rep. Maxine Waters’ Office: as of today, 64 members ofclip_image001 Congress, including four Republicans, have signed Rep. Waters’ letter to World Bank President Robert Zoellick, urging immediate cancellation of Haiti’s debt. That’s a lot of progress in less than two weeks- thanks to everyone who called. But we need more. Rep. Waters has extended the deadline for clip_image001signatures to noon Wednesday, February 25. So if your Representative hasn’t signed yet (list below), call today! For more information on Haiti’s unjust and unconscionable debt, click here.

Coming Attractions: There are two good events on Saturday, February 28: in Ottawa, The Ottawaclip_image002 Initiative on Haiti 2009, will explore Canada’s role in Haiti since 2004. In South Florida, the Florida Immigrant Coalition will host the TPS for Haitians Now! rally at the Broward Transitional Center in Pompano Beach. Next month, in San Francisco on March 17, IJDH co-founder and Board member Dr. Paul Farmer will speak at the Center for Justice & Accountability�s 10th Annual Event, while the Bureau des Avocats Internationauxwill receive CJA’s Judith Lee Stronach Human Rights Award.

This week’s action: We’ll repost Jubilee USA‘s alert to ask your representative to sign the Congressional letter to World Bank President Zoellick. Please call today (Tuesday), to make sure that your Representative signs on by Wednesday’s deadline. Please please call if you are represented by one of the following Rep.’s: Berman, Clarke, Conyers, Crowley, Danny Davis, Engel, Jesse Jackson, Brad Miller, David Price, Slaughter. They all signed a similar letter last year, so they should be easy pickups.

Take the week off if you are represented by the following, who have already signed: Maxine Waters, Barney Frank, Spencer Bachus, Alcee L. Hastings, Barbara Lee, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Baldwin, Sanford Bishop, Blumenauer, Corrine Brown, Capuano, Carson, Christensen, Clarke, Clay, Cohen, Conyers, Cummings, DeLauro, Delahunt, Mario Diaz-Balart, Doyle, Donna Edwards, Ellison, Farr, Fattah, Fudge, Grayson, Al Green, Grijalva, Gutierrez, Hinchey, Honda, Jackson, Jackson-Lee, Kilpatrick, Kucinich, John Lewis, Lynch, Maloney, McDermott, McGovern, Kendrick Meek, Gregory Meeks, Dennis Moore, Gwen Moore, James Moran, Norton, Oberstar, Olver, Payne, Rangel, Rush, Schakowsky, Aaron Schock, Serrano, Sires, Snyder, Towns, Wasserman-Shultz, Watson, Watt, Weiner, and Wexler.

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)

The deadline for signatures is 12pm on Wednesday, February 25th, 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.


For more information about the Half-Hour For Haiti program, the Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti (IJDH) or human rights in Haiti, see our website, To receive Half-Hour for Haiti Action Alerts (about 2 per month), send an email to

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