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Lawmakers Urge Trump Administration to Keep Haiti Office

WASHINGTON (March 13, 2017, 7:00 PM)

A bipartisan group of lawmakers is asking the Trump administration to maintain an independent State Department office dedicated to assisting poverty-stricken Haiti as it weighs major budget cuts.

The letter from a dozen lawmakers notes that Haiti has been struck by several natural and man-made disasters in recent years.

A 2010 earthquake displaced more than 1 million Haitians and killed many thousands. Hurricane Matthew killed about 1,000 Haitians last year and caused more than $1 billion in property damage.

The lawmakers say the disasters create unique challenges that require designated State Department staff to coordinate relief efforts and serve as a trusted liaison to Congress.

They say the Haiti-focused office has overseen $4.6 billion in humanitarian relief, allowing for significant economic progress that must continue. Full text of letter

Working to Improve Business Environment in Haiti September 2015. Haiti Special Coordinator receives delegation of Haitian business leaders. Click on photo for IDs