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Presented to


June 23, 2011

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Rebuilding Haiti During the Martelly Era

Catholic Relief Services wishes to thank you very much for your on going work and personal attention to aid Haitians in rebuilding their country, the poorest in the Western Hemisphere, after the devastating earthquake that struck on January 12, 2010. Moreover, thank you for calling this important hearing on "Rebuilding Haiti during the Martelly Era." We especially want to thank Senator Menendez of New Jersey, and Senator Cardin of Maryland, Chairs of the Subcommittee on Western Hemisphere, Peace Corps, and Global Narcotics Affairs and the Subcommittee on International Development and Foreign Assistance, Economic Affairs, and International Environmental Protection, respectively.

As one of the largest American aid organizations in Haiti, Catholic Relief Services is working hand in hand with Haitians to help them rebuild their country better and stronger. CRS believes that aid agencies must strengthen local capacity and foster local leadership so that Haitians drive their own recovery and development. CRS works in partnership with numerous local organizations, including the Catholic Church in Haiti. Some highlights of our programs in Haiti include:

We request your immediate help with the unresolved problems of shelter and emergency and long-term funding for Haiti.

It is estimated that 680,000 Haitians are currently living in displacement camps. Vulnerable people living in overcrowded areas, with inadequate shelter, surrounded by strangers, are at higher risk of suffering from poor health and violence. They also have a much harder time supporting themselves and taking care of their families. Before the earthquake there was a lack of basic primary education in Haiti and no basic health care for most people. Only 50 percent of Haitians had access to clean water.

Furthermore, government and civil society institutions are weak and under-resourced. Absent a shelter strategy, vulnerable populations are at risk — many of them women and young girls.

Thank you.