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Three Democratic Senators Express Concern Over Distribution Of U.S. Haitian Earthquake Aid

“[O]n the eve of the two-year anniversary of the 7.0 quake in Haiti, three Senators wrote to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and U.S. Agency for International Development head Rajiv Shah urging them to better facilitate distribution of U.S. aid to the country,” CQ HealthBeat reports (Bristol, 1/11). Democratic Sens. Frank R. Lautenberg (N.J.), Jeff Bingaman (N.M.) and Mary Landrieu (La.) on Wednesday “expressed concern about the large portion of aid that has not yet been distributed to earthquake victims,” according to a press release from Lautenberg.

“We commend you for your efforts in responding to the cholera outbreak, improving agricultural development and food security, and facilitating the development of a new industrial park,” the letter states. However, a November 2011 report by the Government Accountability Office noted “the State Department and USAID had allocated almost $412 million for infrastructure construction activities as of September 30, 2011. Of that amount, only 0.8 percent had actually been expended,” according to the letter. “For this reason, we respectfully ask that you continue to explore ways to further distribute U.S. aid in Haiti in an effective and transparent manner,” the letter concludes (1/11).