Haiti Empowerment, Assistance and Rebuilding (HEAR) Act
In the 111th Congress, Representative John Conyers, Jr. introduced H.R. 6021, the “Haiti Empowerment, Assistance and Rebuilding (HEAR) Act of 2010.” The HEAR Act will authorize up to $3.5 billion federal funding over the next five years to support sustainable recovery and long- term rebuilding of Haiti. The bill outlines critical strategic initiatives and mandates to ensure that U.S. assistance efforts comprehensively address the priorities of Haiti.
The HEAR Act will assist in Haiti’s recovery by making the following provisions:
- Authorizes up to $3.5 billion over five years to support Haiti reconstruction and rebuilding in order to demonstrate a long-term commitment to assisting the people of Haiti recover from the devastation of the January 12, 2010 earthquake
- Directs the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) to prepare and submit a comprehensive rebuilding and development strategy for Haiti, in consultation with the Government of Haiti, civil society organizations, private sector entities, and other implementing partners, and in coordination with the international community
- Establishes a strategic policy framework including:
- Just, democratic, and competent governance, including security sector reform and strengthening;
- Economic growth and economic sustainability, including investments in infrastructure, improved urban management, and agricultural development;
- Environmentally sustainable programs that are respectful and restorative of Haiti’s natural resources; and
- Investments in people, particularly women and children.
- Establishes a Senior Haiti Policy Coordinator, who shall be appointed by the President, to be responsible for advising, overseeing, and coordinating all policies of the United States Government related to Haiti.
- Ensures that rebuilding and reconstruction efforts build from existing assessments for Haiti and support the Government of Haiti’s Action Plan for the Reconstruction and National Development of Haiti,other existing development plans for Haiti, including the Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper for Haiti, and follow shared principles in the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness and the Accra Agenda for Action.
Assisting Haitian Orphans Whose U.S. Adoptions Were Interrupted by the Earthquake
The Help HAITI Act authorizes the secretary of Homeland Security to provide permanent resident status to Haitian orphans who were granted admission into the United States pursuant to the humanitarian parole policy for such orphans announced on January 18, 2010. These orphans were in the process of being adopted by U.S. citizens when an earthquake hit Haiti on January 12, 2010, and were subsequently brought to the United States on an emergency basis in order to expedite their reunification with their prospective adoptive families. The law completes the process by giving these children permanent lawful resident status. Became Public Law 111-293 on December 9, 2010.