The earthquake that hit Haiti is still being felt strongly across the country, and now it appears that a tropical storm is bearing down on the island nation even as cholera continues to spread. Even worse, $1.5 billion in U.S. reconstruction money has not yet been received because of concerns over corruption. The U.S. made the promise to pay the funds back in March or this year, but must first be assured that the money will be used as intended. Noted State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley, “Given the weak governmental institutions that existed in Haiti even before the earthquake, Congress wants to be sure we have that accountability in place before these funds are obligated.”
Crowley did not have an estimate for when the funds would be freed up. The earthquake that hit Port-Au-Prince, the capital city of Haiti, killed at least 230,000 and has left several million homeless. Already, $1.1 billion in U.S. humanitarian aid has arrived in the country, though the funds for reconstruction are needed if the country is to have any positive long-term outlook.
Noted Senator John Kerry, D-Massachusetts, “As Haiti faces another natural disaster and is still reeling from the recent cholera outbreak, this is not the time to delay assistance.”