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NAACP Urges the Immediate Release of Foreign Aid to Haiti

WHEREAS, an estimated three-quarters of the eight million people of Haiti live in abject poverty and twenty-five percent of the children suffer from malnutrition; and

WHEREAS, $146 million in approved Inter-American Development Bank loans are being withheld from the impoverished island nation; and

WHEREAS, without the aid the people of Haiti are ensured a short life; and

WHEREAS, Haiti has the lowest level of school enrollment in the Americas; and

WHEREAS, almost half the population has no health care; and

WHEREAS, the maternal mortality rate ranges from 500-to-1000 per 100,000 women. By comparison, the rate in the United States is 11 per 100,000; and

WHEREAS, the infant mortality rate is an astounding 114 per 100,000; and

WHEREAS, according to the United Nations Development Programmed, Haiti has the highest percentage of adults living with HIV/AIDS in the Western Hemisphere---6.1 percent. An alarming 12,000 Haitian children living with HIV/AIDS; and

WHEREAS, on September 4, 2002, the United States joined other delegations to the Organization of American States (OAS) in unanimously endorsing Resolution 822 which, among other things, resolves to "support normalization of economic cooperation between the Government of Haiti and the international financial obstacles that preclude such normalization." Subsequent to the passage of OAS Resolution 822, the Inter-American Development Bank approved four loans totaling $146 million to address health, education, water and sanitation, and transportation issues. Yet the United States Executive Director at the Inter-American Development Bank, acting on direction from the Administration, has held up the delivery of these loans.

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the NAACP provide information to the public about the problems in Haiti and urge the Inter-American Development Bank to release the approved loans; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that the NAACP support initiatives such as the resolution introduced by Congresswoman Barbara Lee (H. Con. Res. 78), which would re-engage Congress in the debate over international aid to Haiti and which would urge the Bush Administration to withdraw its objections to the release of international aid to Haiti.