After returning from a congressional trip to Haiti, Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) is urging the continued assistance for the country.
“[The situation] has improved significantly due partly to our government, but more, probably, because of what regular people have done to assist Haiti, but it’s not all the way back yet,” Brown said.
Brown traveled to Haiti on a congressional trip orchestrated by Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Va.) in February, said Lauren Kulik, press secretary for Brown. The congressman reviewed US relief efforts and met with government officials to discuss Haiti’s transition to a stable democracy.
Brown also visited children who are benefitting from the work being done by McGovern-Dole — a US Department of Agriculture program that helps support education, child development and food security in the world’s poorest countries.
The program helps provide school children with one hot meal per day. Some of the provided food comes from Ohio farmers.
Since the earthquake, work done by McGovern-Dole and other organizations like it has resulted in 300,000 Haitian children attending school.
The meals provide an incentive for school attendance in a country where 80 percent of the population lives on less than $2 per day, according to the World Bank Group.
“Nobody can learn if they are that hungry,” Brown said. “These kids get one good, hot meal a day which encourages their families, frankly, to send them to school.”
The citizens of Haiti struggled to recover from a massive earthquake that devastated the country Jan. 12, 2010. More than 200,000 people died and 1.5 million were displaced, according to the World Bank Group. The United States government, organizations and individuals aided Haiti since then. Brown stressed the need for the US to continue relief efforts in the poorest country in the Americas.
“Encourage elected officials that foreign aid done right is good for us as a country. It’s good for our farmers, it’s good for that country and it’s part of our place in the world to do this right,” Brown said.