January 28, 2010

Dodd, Lugar Introduce Legislation to Speed Haitian Recovery

WASHINGTON, D.C.— Senators Chris Dodd (D-CT) and Richard Lugar (R-IN) today introduced legislation to speed recovery efforts in post-earthquake Haiti. The legislation will focus on three areas important to rebuilding Haiti – debt relief, infrastructure, and trade.
“The United States and the international community have already contributed tremendously to short-term relief efforts in Haiti, but it’s critical that we commit to Haiti’s long-term recovery as well,” said Dodd. “Our legislation includes three provisions critical to Haiti’s recovery, including debt relief, the creation of an international infrastructure fund, and measures designed to boost investment and trade in Haiti.”
“Despite strong support from the United States, sustained international participation in Haiti is vital for its recovery. It is especially important that the international community provide governance assistance to the Haitian people,” Lugar said. “The legislation explores ways to invigorate economic activity in the country by adjusting U.S.-Haiti trade agreements. It also encourages the IMF to provide debt relief to Haiti and ensure that IMF gold sale surpluses are used for low income countries, including Haiti.”

Dodd and Lugar’s legislation will:

  • Relieve Haiti of its outstanding international debt with multilateral institutions, as well as any additional debt incurred in the aftermath of the earthquake.  Additionally, it would encourage these institutions to make financial assistance available to Haiti in the form of grants, rather than loans.
  • Foster the creation of an international infrastructure fund for Haiti to invest in electric grids, roads, water, sanitation facilities, and other critical infrastructure projects.
  • Extend the deadline of currently enacted trade provisions for Haiti, helping to foster investment in Haiti and increase trade between the United States and Haiti.

Dodd is a senior member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and Chairman of its Subcommittee on Western Hemisphere, Peace Corps, and Global Narcotics Affairs.

Lugar is the Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
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