Susan Reichle, USAID’s Senior Deputy Assistant Administrator for Democracy, Conflict, and Humanitarian Assistance, visited Haiti Wednesday through Friday this week to meet with key stakeholders to discuss the U.S. Government’s ongoing transition from emergency response to reconstruction, continued deployment of mitigation efforts in advance of the rainy season, and plans for transitional shelter construction in the next few months.
“We are as committed to delivering the ‘swift, coordinated, and aggressive’ response that President Obama ordered today as we were in the initial days after the earthquake,” Reichle said. “The conditions have changed and we’ve begun to see results-but we’ve got a long way to go. With hurricane season right around the corner, we’re heavily focused on executing mitigation measures to help those in danger, helping to restart the economy through cash-for-work programs that clear clogged roads and canals of rubble, and carefully monitoring those at risk to stem major heath problems before they turn into outbreaks.”
“We’ve also prepositioned relief supplies, including food, water, and plastic sheeting in our warehouse in Miami so that in case another disaster looks likely to strike, we can quickly get them on the ground and out to those in need.”
As part of the visit, Reichle met with Major Simeon G. Trombitas, commander of US Army South; conferred with local NGO implementing partners; and visited a cash-for-work site in Delmas. Together with Eric Schwartz, Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees and Migration, she discussed mitigation efforts related to the upcoming rainy season, maximizing coordination amongst fellow donors and the international community, and USAID’s long-term reconstruction efforts with Nigel Fisher, the Deputy Special Representative, Ad Interim, for the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH). Reichle and Schwartz also met with Haitian government officials and leaders of the UN Human Rights Commission, UNICEF, and civil society group officials. They visited the Petionville Golf Club and Ancien Aeroport internally-displaced-people (IDP) camps.
During her visit, Reichle spent a considerable amount of time with USAID staff and others from the US Government who are working to support the Government of Haiti’s reconstruction strategy. The US Government has already committed more than $1 billion towards Haiti relief and pledged another $1.15 billion at the donors’ conference held last month. Of this funding, USAID contributions total more than $500 million.