A Letter for Haiti

April 5, 2010
by Jove Oliver

In the aftermath of the January earthquake that devastated Haiti, RESULTS activists urged their elected officials to eliminate Haiti’s foreign debt so the nation would have more resources to rebuild. Their work paid off quickly.

A letter calling for Haitian debt relief by representatives Maxine Waters (D-CA) and Illeana Ros-Lehtinen (r-FL), which RESULTS helped initiate, garnered 94 signatories, including Financial services Chairman rep. Barney Frank and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer.

After receiving the letter, Treasury secretary Timothy Geithner announced he would work with world partners, including the International Monetary Fund, to eliminate Haiti’s debt and provide further assistance as grants.

“The earthquake in Haiti was a catastrophic setback to the Haitian people, who are now facing tremendous emergency. Humanitarian and reconstruction needs, and meeting Haiti’s financing needs will require a massive multilateral effort,” Geithner said. “Today, we are voicing our support for what Haiti needs and deserves — comprehensive multilateral debt relief.”

As an influential member of these multilateral organizations, U.S. leadership will be critical in ensuring that Haiti’s debt is canceled. These efforts are already paying off. In March, the inter-American Development Bank announced it would erase $479 million of Haiti’s debt.


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