The Post is correct that Haiti's recovery will demand a concerted international effort led by the United States ["Haiti's Slim Chance," editorial, July 19]. But the contention that the Bush administration's response has been inadequate is off the mark.
We are Haiti's largest aid donor, and we have been working tirelessly with our international partners to improve the lives of the Haitian people.
U.S. troops were critical to ending the chaos that followed Jean-Bertrand Aristide's resignation. Through our multilateral efforts, the U.N. Security Council has passed two resolutions addressing the crisis, violence has been reduced, and a sense of order and purpose is returning to Haiti's beleaguered government. Several thousand international soldiers are serving as members of the U.N. stabilization mission in Haiti, bolstering the Haitian National Police and keeping order.
Much remains to be done. Secretary of State Colin L. Powell recently announced that U.S. aid to Haiti would rise to about $230 million for 2004 and 2005. In addition, we are working multilaterally to raise contributions and to ensure that scarce resources are spent wisely. This week, international donors agreed to share the burden of supporting Haiti.
Although Haiti's troubles are rooted in that country's history and cannot be addressed solely through an infusion of money, I am optimistic about the country's future. In Haiti, I see a people and a government trying to put an end to a sad legacy of corruption and bad governance. With help from our international partners, our goal is to ensure that Haiti's most recent crisis will be its last.
ROGER F. NORIEGA
Assistant Secretary of State
for Western Hemisphere Affairs