Haiti-Related News From

Congresswoman Chellie Pingree

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March 2, 2010

Dear Mary,

 Thank you very much for being in touch with me about the earthquake in Haiti.  I wanted to take a minute to thank you for your message, and update you on the relief work being done in the aftermath of this disaster.

 Like you, I was devastated to hear about the earthquake that struck Haiti. An earthquake of this magnitude has dealt a serious blow to the livelihood and lives of many Haitians and has set back recent economic, political and social developments. It will take time and dedication to recover from this tragic event, but I am encouraged to see how many people have come together to support the recovery efforts in Haiti. I have heard from many people in Maine about the status of the Maine-based Sea Hunter, a vessel carrying relief supplies donated by local residents and businesses. I am happy to report that after docking in Miami, the Sea Hunter, with approval from the Coast Guard has departed Maimi and arrived in Miragoane, Haiti. From Miragoane, the Sea Hunter traveled to Lescayes to unload the remaining supplies for an orphanage on Haiti's south coast. 

 As you may have heard, on January 15, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano granted Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for 18 months to Haitian nationals who were in the United States as of January 12, 2010. There have also been many people concerned about the children living in Haiti's orphanages, many of whom were in the process of being adopted.  You should know that all of the orphans at the Bresma Orphanage have now left Haiti for various countries to be reunited with their adoptive families.  My office has also been working with immigration officials and others to try to make sure we help bring people to the United States who need medical attention or need to be reunited with their families.  If you or someone you know needs help in the wake of this tragedy, please be in touch with my office right away - 207-774-5019, or toll-free 1-888-862-6500.

 The thoughts and prayers of the entire Congress are with the people of Haiti.  The United States and Members of Congress remain committed to helping the Haitian people recover from this disaster and rebuild their homes, communities, and lives in the days and weeks to come. I am a proud cosponsor of H.R. 4573, the Debt Relief for Earthquake Recovery in Haiti Act. This bill, introduced by Representative Maxine Waters (D-CA), would direct the Secretary of the Treasury to cancel all debts owed by Haiti. If enacted, this bill would cancel debts acquired through the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and the Inter-American Development Bank and other multilateral development institutions. H.R. 4573 would also provide assistance from these institutions to Haiti in grant form in order to avoid further debt accumulation. In addition, the Obama Administration has launched a swift, coordinated and aggressive effort to save lives and support the recovery in Haiti, including an immediate investment of $100 million to support the relief efforts for life-saving equipment, food, water and medicine that will be needed.


Thank you again for being in touch - please don't hesitate to contact my office if we can help in any way.


Chellie Pingree

Member of Congress

March 4, 2010

Relief ship Sea Hunter prepares to unload in Haiti

Maine based vessel anchored just off the dock in Les Cayes

March 4, 2010

For immediate release

Contact:  Willy Ritch 207-841-8400


The Maine based vessel Sea Hunter is now anchored just off the dock in the Haitian city of Les Cayes.  Greg Brooks, the vessel’s owner, says he hopes that the crew can begin unloading their cargo of relief supplies tomorrow morning.


The Sea Hunter had been anchored several miles away from Les Cayes, but this morning moved closer to the city in preparation for unloading.  Brooks and the crew had hoped to start the process today but were delayed, apparently due to the fact that Haitian President Preval arrived in the city. Preval’s presence, Brooks said, caused complications with security arrangements and resulted in a delay for the Sea Hunter.


“I’m glad to see the Sea Hunter is closer to unloading their supplies,” said Congresswoman Chellie Pingree.  “The bureaucratic red tape that they’ve had to go through is unbelievable and the determination of Greg Brooks and the crew has been amazing.  They have really demonstrated the perseverance of people from Maine.”


The crew of the vessel plans to unload relief supplies donated by Maine people and a Florida-based charity into smaller boats, which will then take the cargo to shore.