US Firms Rely on Lobbyists for Haiti Reconstruction Contracts

Workers prepare materials that will be used to build USAID-funded transitional shelters in Haiti. U.S.-based construction companies are hiring lobbyists to guide them through the contracting process for the quake-ravaged country's reconstruction. Photo by: Kendra Helmer / USAID

U.S.-based construction companies and disaster response firms are reportedly hiring lobbyists to guide them through the contracting process for Haiti’s reconstruction.

The common goal of these lobbyists is to try to free up funding for their clients, which are interested in working in Haiti, The Hill says.

The U.S. had come under fire following an Associated Press report indicating that none of the USD1.15 billion reconstruction aid the U.S. promised to provide during a donors conference in March had reached the Caribbean country.

>> Bureaucracy Delays US Aid for Haiti Reconstruction - AP

Lobbyists are also closely monitoring the release of a reconstruction time line for Haiti, the Hill says. The time line is part of the requirements attached to Congress’ approval of the supplemental budget that U.S. President Barack Obama requested for Haiti earlier this year.

The U.S. last week pledged USD120 million to the World Bank-managed Haiti Reconstruction Fund. The Associated Press said it was unclear whether this money is part of the supplemental budget.

>> US Unveils Contribution to Haiti Reconstruction Fund

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    Ivy Mungcal

    As former senior staff writer, Ivy Mungcal contributed to several Devex publications. Her focus is on breaking news, and in particular on global aid reform and trends in the United States, Europe, the Caribbean, and the Americas. Before joining Devex in 2009, Ivy produced specialized content for U.S. and U.K.-based business websites.