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U.S. Representative Maxine Waters Introduces Resolution to Cancel More Than $1 Billion in Debt for Haiti Legislation Would Give Newly Elected Government A Fresh Start

July 21, 2009
Press Release

United States Representative Maxine Waters (CA-35) today introduced a resolution urging the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank, and other multilateral financial institutions to provide Haiti complete debt cancellation immediately.  The resolution also urges the U.S. Secretary of the Treasury to use the voice, vote, and influence of the United States within these institutions to accomplish this goal.  Waters was able to garner bipartisan support for her resolution that includes senior members of the House Financial Services Committee and the House International Relations Committee as original co-sponsors.

"The impoverished people of Haiti cannot wait, as suggested by the World Bank, until 2009 for debt cancellation," said Congresswoman Waters.  "The IMF, the World Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank should cancel Haiti's debts now and allow President Preval and the newly elected government of Haiti to invest in social and economic development for the Haitian people."

President Rene Garcia Preval was installed as President of Haiti last month, following democratic elections in which more than 60 percent of registered voters participated. 

"The cancellation of Haiti's debts will enable the newly-elected government of Haiti to improve healthcare, education and other essential government services; invest in critical infrastructure; and improve the lives of the Haitian people," said Congresswoman Waters. 

According to the IMF, Haiti owes over $1 billion dollars to multilateral financial institutions, including $9.1 million to the IMF, $566.7 million to the World Bank, and $470.9 million to the Inter-American Development Bank.  Rep. Waters' resolution would expedite the process that would relieve Haiti of its debt burden and provide its newly elected government with a solid economic foundation as it moves into the future.