Washington, DC – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and Chairman of the International Development Subcommittee, today endorsed a continuation of U.S. engagement in rebuilding Haiti during a hearing he co-chaired entitled, “Rebuilding Haiti in the Martelly Era.”
“In the first year after the catastrophic earthquake, the U.S. provided $1.1 billion dollars to meet the humanitarian needs of Haiti, which was matched by billions from other countries and donors. These funds have helped to meet many of the needs of the Haitian people, but so much more remains to be done. Today’s hearing reviewed some of the long-term challenges facing Haiti and how we can better utilize new tools that allow for a real and lasting reconstruction of their country – beyond traditional emergency humanitarian assistance.
“We understand that aid is not the ultimate answer to the problems Haiti faces. To rebuild a capable state, much more is required. There are other kinds of support, such as new investment and trade policies, institutional capacity building assistance and strengthening the enterprise development so that exports grow and everyone along the value chain is helped.
“It is also imperative that we make protection of women and girls in temporary camps a priority – it is not acceptable that we allow this tragedy to be further compounded by gender based violence. And to further empower women who help drive the economy, we must also work increase their access to the economy, especially in the agricultural sector in terms of land tenure.
“I am encouraged by Haiti’s new political leadership and urge them to work with the U.S. in creating new strategies to help Haiti realize its full potential. We must ensure that during this transition period in the rebuilding process that any prospective economic gains reach throughout the country and to all citizens.”