Originally: Haitian-Americans may help rebuild Haiti

Thursday, June 30, 2005

WASHINGTON ? A proposal to pay college-educated Haitian-Americans to spend one to three years in Haiti rebuilding the country was narrowly approved Wednesday by a House subcommittee.

The House International Relation’s Western Hemisphere subcommittee voted 7-6 along party lines to pass the Haiti Economic and Infrastructure Reconstruction Act, which now will move to the full committee. Rep. Mark Foley, R-Jupiter, introduced the bill in the House in February.

The bill would authorize $3 million a year for five years to send recruits to Haiti to improve the nation’s economy as well as bolster its judicial, education and health care systems. Recruits also would help rebuild Haiti’s infrastructure, which includes roads, bridges and ports.

“The bill seeks to bring badly needed manpower to the rebuilding efforts going on in Haiti,” Foley said. “This legislation provides us with an opportunity to reinvigorate the Western Hemisphere’s poorest nation.”

The bill also would authorize a $3 million program for five years to combat the spread of infectious disease including AIDS in Haiti