« $enate $end$ 'tran$parency' fundrai$ing bill to Cri$t | Main | Dan Gelber amend: repeal Bill McCollum's healthcare challenge »

Obama administration asks for aid to Haiti

President Barack Obama is asking Congress for $2.8 billion in aid for earthquake-wracked Haiti, jumpstarting a global push to raise billions of dollars for the country's reconstruction.

 The request comes a week before international donors meet at the United Nations to plot how to finance a reconstruction effort that has been pegged at $11.5 billion.

The White House said its opening bid "lays the foundation for the continued recovery and reconstruction in Haiti.

"Meeting the challenges that face Haiti will require a sustained and substantial commitment from the international community,'' said spokeswoman Moira Mack. "This request reflects a targeted expenditure that will help to leverage additional support at the UN Donors Conference and beyond to ensure the contribution to Haiti's future is a truly international one.'

Aid organizations, who had pressed for $3 billion, welcomed the news.

"That is a substantial opening salvo in terms of Haiti's reconstruction and renewal,'' said Mark Schneider, a former U.S. official who coordinated the response to Hurricane Mitch in 1998.

Observers say there is considerable good will on Congress for getting the request passed. Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., who chairs the Senate Foreign Relations committee, Wednesday called the emergency funding "a must.

 "It's a non-negotiable measurement of how the United States responds to a humanitarian emergency and we need to pass this $1 billion in new assistance for Haiti right away,'' Kerry said.

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

The comments to this entry are closed.