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Nothing to report here

September 29, 2010
Often when I tell people I’m going to Haiti, they comment that while they are concerned for my well-being, they know it will be okay because so much time has passed.

 There is a general assumption that even if things haven’t been rebuilt, the rubble has been cleared away.

 Sadly, that’s not the case.

A family sits in the rubble of their church for mass on Sunday, Sept. 26, 2010. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

The Associated Press released a report today that the United States has still not delivered any of the aid money they promised in the days after the earthquake. It wasn’t until July that both houses of Congress agreed to make a supplemental payment of $917 million available. But they did not say how it should be spent. Without that key information, the money remains in the bank, helping no one. They report that Sen. Tom Coburn, a republican from Oklahoma, is holding the bill because it adds in a coordinator who would oversee the aid. That coordinator position would cost $5 million over 5 years with their salary, offices, staff and expenses. I’m not saying that $5 million isn’t a lot of money, but to hold up aid that is desperately needed over one office shows a woefully lack of priorities.

 As that money sits in the bank, the rubble remains on the ground in Haiti. People continue to live in tents that are easily destroyed by sudden storms because there is no money to build new homes. People get sick and children die.

 Haiti needs our support to recover now and for any hope of progress in the future.

Sadly, that’s not happening. There’s nothing to report.

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