Brooklyn pol praises move to forgive Haiti's debt to U.S.
by By Richard J. Bocklett
Feb 23, 2010 | 813 views | 0 0 comments | 27 27 recommendations | email to a friend | print
To support Haiti's reconstruction and recovery from the devastating earthquake, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner announced earlier this month that the U.S. is working with global partners to relieve all debts owed by that nation to international institutions, including the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), and the International Development Association (IDA).

Already, the International Monetary Fund committed to providing full debt relief, including a $102 million emergency loan approved on January 27.

“I applaud Secretary Geithner and the Obama Administration for leading a global effort to relieve all of Haiti’s debt,” said Representative Yvette Clarke of Brooklyn, whose district is home to the second largest population of Haitian immigrants in the United States. “This is an encouraging step forward to the long term recovery for this nation.”

Meanwhile, Congressman Gregory Meeks, who represents the approximately 25,000-strong Haitian population in southeast Queens, proposed a resolution to establish a Haiti Marshall Plan Committee to coordinate recovery efforts.

Meeks, who chairs the subcommittee for International Monetary Policy, says the proposed committee will have representatives from multilateral development banks, the United States bilateral aid programs, and major international charities and nongovernmental organizations, who will integrate aid and development initiatives.

“With the establishment of the Haiti Marshall Plan Committee we will be able to avoid significant delays in recovery and reconstruction efforts in Haiti by allowing key individuals to collaborate and strategize for a long term recovery,” said Meeks.

Meanwhile, Clarke, who supported bipartisan legislation allowing individuals to claim any donations to the relief effort as an itemized deduction on their 2009 tax return, reminded people to get their donations in by the last day of February if they want to claim it for the tax year 2009.

“It is clear to me that our nation’s compassion, during times of crisis, is one of the things that makes the U.S. so great.” stated Clarke. "All donations, large and small, are helping to provide crucial necessities for this relief effort.”
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