C. Laurent's Response
by C. Laurent
April 14, 2005

Congressman C. Shays' letter on U.S. projected expenditures in Haiti
Letter dated March 30, 2005

Ms. Marie-Chantal Laurent
Stamford, CT

Dear Marie-Chantal:

Thank you for following up on my letter of August 31 regarding Haiti. You have also sent several other emails expressing concern about the political, economic and humanitarian crisis in Haiti. I appreciate you taking the time to shar your views with me, as well as your patience awaiting my reply.

I share your concern about the situation in Haiti. As the poorest nation in the hemisphere, Haiti needs our assistance, and I will work continue to support increasing aid to the Haitian people.

In July 2004, the Bush Administration announced an additional $120 million in assistance to Haiti, for a total of about $230 million for fiscal years 2004 and 2005. According to the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the aid will be distributed as follows: $22 million for job creation; $45 million for government infrastructure support; $26 million for improved security through improved administration of justice; $122 million for humanitarian aid, including health care, nutrition, and education; and $15 million for elections support.

On November 20, 2004, I voted for H.R. 4818, the Fiscal Year 2005 (FY 05) Omnibus Appropriations Act, which passed the House by a vote of 344 to 51. This legislation provides $20 million for child survival and health programs, $25 million for development assistance, including agriculture, environment, and basic education programs $40 million in Economic Support Funds (ESP) for judicial reform, police training, and national elections; funding for the Organization of American States (OAS) to help Haiti hold elections in 2005, and $2 million to Zanmi Lasante, a Haitian health care organization, for maternal and child health activities. The President signed this legislation into law on December 7.

You ma also be interested to know on October 9, 2004, I voted for H.r. 4837, the Military Construction Appropriations and Emergency Hurricane Supplemental Appropriations Act, which passed the House by a vote of 374 to 0. This legislation included $100 million in international disaster assistance for nations., including Haiti, that were affected by several hurricanes last summer.

Please do not hesitate to contact my office again. Because we have not had regular mail delivery since the Anthrax threat in 2001, e-mails, phone calls, faxes, and in-person visits are the most effective ways to communicate with my office. I also invite you to visit my website at www.house.gov/shays.

Christopher Shays
Member of Congress

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