Report text available as:

  • TXT
  • PDF   (PDF provides a complete and accurate display of this text.) Tip ?
                                                       Calendar No. 447
113th Congress                                                   Report
                                 SENATE
 2nd Session                                                    113-201

======================================================================



 
                ASSESSING PROGRESS IN HAITI ACT OF 2014

                                _______
                                

                 June 26, 2014.--Ordered to be printed

         Mr. Menendez, from the Committee on Foreign Relations,
                        submitted the following

                                 REPORT

                         [To accompany S. 1104]

    The Committee on Foreign Relations, to which was referred 
the bill (S. 1104), to measure the progress of recovery and 
development efforts in Haiti following the earthquake of 
January 12, 2010, and for other purposes, reports favorably 
thereon with an amendment and recommends that the bill, as 
amended, do pass.

                                CONTENTS

                                                                   Page

  I. Purpose..........................................................1
 II. Committee Action.................................................2
III. Background.......................................................2
 IV. Discussion.......................................................2
  V. Cost Estimate....................................................4
 VI. Evaluation of Regulatory Impact..................................4
VII. Changes in Existing Law..........................................4

                               I. Purpose

    The purpose of S. 1104, as amended, is to assess the 
progress of, identify current challenges to, and devise a 
comprehensive strategy to improve the recovery and development 
efforts implemented by the Government of the United States to 
mitigate the catastrophic consequences of the earthquake that 
struck Haiti on January 12, 2010. S. 1104, as amended, directs 
the Secretary of State to prepare a report that highlights the 
current status of United States Government-supported 
reconstruction programs and identifies any significant 
challenges to advancing the objectives set forth by the ongoing 
efforts. S. 1104, as amended, also requires the State 
Department to develop a comprehensive three-year strategy that 
clearly identifies constraints to economic growth and 
challenges to the consolidation of democratic government 
institutions in Haiti, includes an action plan that outlines 
policy tools, technical assistance, and anticipated resources, 
and lays out specific steps and verifiable benchmarks for 
enhancing the ongoing recovery efforts in Haiti.

                          II. Committee Action

    S. 1104 was introduced on June 6, 2013, by Senator Bill 
Nelson and co-sponsored by Senators Cardin, Gillibrand, and 
Landrieu. On June 24, 2014 the committee considered S. 1104 and 
ordered it reported favorably by voice vote, with one 
amendment.

                            III. Background

    On January 12, 2010 a massive earthquake struck near the 
Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince, leaving an estimated 220,000 
people dead, as well as 300,000 injured, 115,000 homes 
destroyed, and 1,500,000 people displaced. According to the 
Post Disaster Needs Assessment conducted by the Government of 
Haiti, with technical assistance from various international 
organizations, an estimated 15 percent of the population was 
directly affected by the disaster. The international community, 
led by the United States and the United Nations, mounted a 
humanitarian response for relief, reconstruction and 
development efforts in Haiti. The United States Congress played 
a vital role by authorizing $3,600,000,000 in assistance for 
the government and people of Haiti.

                             IV. Discussion

    A section-by-section discussion of S. 1104 follows.

Section 1

    Section 1 names the bill.

Section 2

    Section 2 presents key findings regarding the devastating 
consequences of the earthquake in Haiti, including the number 
of victims, economic losses, and the public health crisis that 
stemmed from an unprecedented cholera outbreak. This section 
also elaborates upon the challenges faced by the international 
community in implementing recovery programs, and the need for 
donor assistance to Haiti to be met with a commitment by the 
Haitian Government to transparency, rule of law, democracy, and 
human rights.

Section 3

    Section 3 states that it is the policy of the United States 
to support Haiti's rebuilding and development in a manner that 
promotes efforts to support the long term capacity of the 
Government of Haiti and civil society; builds community-level 
resilience to environmental impacts; promotes the holding of 
free, fair and timely elections; and ultimately reflects the 
priorities of all Haitian citizens.

Section 4

    Section 4 expresses the sense of the Congress that 
transparency, accountability, democracy and good governance are 
key factors in any congressional decision regarding any United 
States assistance, including assistance to Haiti.

Section 5

    Section 5 requires the Secretary of State to submit to 
Congress a report on the status of post-earthquake recovery and 
development efforts in Haiti. The report must be submitted no 
later than December 31, 2014, and annually thereafter through 
December 31, 2017. The report must include a summary and a 
comprehensive assessment of ``Post-Earthquake USG Haiti 
Strategy: Toward Renewal and Economic Opportunity''--a document 
produced by the Department of State--that incorporates any 
significant changes to and a detailed description of the 
progress of the goals, objectives, benchmarks and timeframes 
specified in the Strategy, as well as a breakdown of the work 
done in Haiti by United States agencies other than USAID and 
the State Department. Furthermore, the report must include a 
description of measures taken by both the Unites States and 
Haiti to strengthen Haitian governmental and nongovernmental 
capacity to undertake and sustain U.S.-supported recovery 
programs, as well as a detailed account of current U.S. efforts 
to consult and engage with the Government of Haiti, its 
ministries and local authorities on establishment of goals and 
timeframes for existing and potential new programs.

Section 6

    Section 6 requires that, 180 days after enactment of this 
Act, the Secretary of State, through the Assistant Secretary of 
State for Western Hemisphere Affairs, shall coordinate and 
transmit to the appropriate congressional committees a 3-year 
strategy that identifies the challenges to economic growth and 
the consolidation of democratic government institutions in 
Haiti. The Committee on Foreign Relations recognizes the 
important role that the Secretary of State's Special 
Coordinator for Haiti will play in drafting the strategy and 
overseeing its implementation, but nevertheless deems it 
necessary that the Assistant Secretary for Western Hemisphere 
Affairs lead the process of coordination in order to ensure 
that the United States Government's efforts in Haiti are linked 
more directly to the United States' overall strategy and 
objectives for the hemisphere. The Committee on Foreign 
Relations notes that the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs 
has significant experience in defining strategies focused on 
addressing obstacles to economic growth and strengthening 
democratic governance, and is in a position to reinforce this 
strategic planning effort.
    The strategy shall also include an action plan that 
outlines policy tools, technical assistance, and anticipated 
resources to address these challenges, as well as specific 
steps and verifiable benchmarks for achieving these goals. All 
United States Government efforts to support the consolidation 
of democratic government institutions in Haiti should be based 
on respect for internationally recognized human rights of all 
Haitian citizens.
    The strategy should include detailed steps for engagement 
with the Haitian Government on achieving shared priorities, 
such as bolstering the capacity of Haitian institutions, 
reducing corruption, consolidating the rule of law, 
strengthening the civilian police force, developing sustainable 
housing, fostering economic growth, improving food security and 
access to potable water, and obtaining access to safe and 
affordable supplies of energy. In devising this strategy, the 
Secretary should coordinate with all United States Government 
departments carrying out work in Haiti, and consult with the 
Haitian Government, as well as all relevant multilateral 
organizations present in Haiti. Additionally, the Secretary of 
State should consult with non-governmental sectors in Haiti, 
including grassroots and community-based organizations. At the 
request of the relevant congressional committees, the Secretary 
is to provide quarterly briefings that review the 
implementation of the strategy.

                            V. Cost Estimate

    In accordance with Rule XXVI, paragraph 11(a) of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, the committee notes that the cost 
estimate provided by the Congressional Budget Office was not 
available for inclusion in this report. The estimate will be 
printed in either a supplemental report or the Congressional 
Record when it is available.

                  VI. Evaluation of Regulatory Impact

    Pursuant to Rule XXVI, paragraph 11(b) of the Standing 
Rules of the Senate, the committee has determined that there is 
no regulatory impact as a result of this legislation.

                      VII. Changes in Existing Law

    In compliance with Rule XXVI, paragraph 12 of the Standing 
Rules of the Senate, the committee has determined that there is 
no change to existing law made by the bill, as reported.