When I lived in the States I was a news junkie. I always needed to know what was going on. To some extent that changed when I moved to Haiti. A lot of the things that pass as "news" in the states isn't really worth getting worked up about in the broader, global context.
However, when I was home during the summer I was dying to know what was happening in Haiti while I was gone. Call it separation anxiety. During that time I established a daily email of news stories about Haiti (thank you, Google Alerts!) this has led to some interesting readings. Rarely do they move me as much as this one.
The $1 billion that the US has pledged to rebuild Haiti is tied up in Congress due to one senator's disagreement about how $5 million of the total package will be spent: on an adviser to USAID. He feels the current advisors are enough.
I admire Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn's commitment to fiscal responsibility but he is holding up the entire rebuilding effort of Haiti over a tiny fraction of the bill's budget. To me that seems morally irresponsible.
Today, in my Comparative Government class, I will be sharing this story with my students and inviting them to join me in emailing Senator Coburn's office asking him to stop obstructing this piece of legislation. I have already emailed him and I would ask that you do the same.
Click here. Then fill out your information and ask Senator Coburn to stop blocking the aid that the USA has promised to rebuild Haiti.
Goodness, you could even copy and paste that previous sentence into the comments section! It is mindless and would take you less than a minute.
Perhaps if Sen. Coburn, who is a doctor and says he's a Christian, came to Haiti he could see how much the country could benefit from the money. Mr. Coburn clearly could use a face to go with all of the poverty and need in Haiti right now. I would love to introduce him to Woogina, Sarah, Keishna, and everyone living in the Champs de Mars and Place Boyer in tents and tarps. Maybe then he would not stall the rebuilding efforts, because he would see how great and immediate the need really is.
For further reading: AP News. I also liked this blog's take, if only because it provided a link to a Daily Show clip, a show I dearly miss here in Haiti.