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Monday, November 1, 2010
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As Construction Begins in Haiti, NEMA Stands Ready to Help

Haiti National Flag ImageNEMA recently met with the U.S. Department of Commerce in the Dominican Republic in which we were advised that real construction activity in Haiti will commence early in 2011, and that we can provide members with contacts and further details if they are interested.

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Public Affairs Office notes the following:

Dr. Rajiv Shah, USAID administrator, is committed to ensuring that USAID does business in an open and transparent way at every level of our work.

Solicitations for competitive awards are posted online at fedbizopps.gov. Competitive grant opportunities are also posted at grants.gov. Award decisions will be shared as freely as possible, while protecting the intellectual property of all those who competed for those contracts.

Included in the supplemental request was a provision for USAID Inspector General's office to ensure that USAID resources in Haiti are used for the greatest good and that additional oversight is provided on the ground in Haiti. Funding will support an array of oversight activities, including outreach and education, financial audits, performance audits, investigative activities, and coordination and staffing.

According to Dr. Shah:

We are working to move this process along as quickly as possible. Even before the supplemental funding had passed, we had already initiated the process of designing projects and preparing solicitations.

Now that the Supplemental Request has been signed into law, we are finalizing a "Spend Plan" to inform Congress of our intentions for using the funds they approved, as required by law. We anticipate sending the Spend Plan to Congress before the 45-day deadline. Once Congress receives the plan, they have 15 days to respond and ask questions.

This process will take some time. Before USAID can commit U.S. Government resources for projects, we are required to undertake a number of analyses to ensure that our design process takes into account issues such as environmental impact, economic/cost benefit, gender effects, and other considerations. We anticipate that some portion of work that would be funded by the U.S. Government may be carried out as part of a multi-donor effort.

The rebuilding of Haiti is led by the Government of Haiti, and the U.S. Government is committed to working closely with the Interim Haiti Recovery Commission (IHRC), which coordinates and allows for Haitian-led planning, sequencing, and prioritization of projects.

We recognize that the immediate needs on the ground require urgent response. We are committed to moving forward as rapidly as possible and are engaged in concluding design work on an accelerated timeline so that we can submit projects to the IHRC for its review and eventual approval.

In the meantime, and to ensure uninterrupted, prompt support to Haiti, our in-country USAID Mission will utilize several existing programs to continue to meet post-earthquake needs. USAID’s Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance and Office of Transition Initiatives are also employing millions of dollars in grant activity to meet humanitarian needs on the ground while longer-term programs are being developed.

For important information and FAQs from USAID on funding reconstruction activities in Haiti, click here or go to www.usaid.gov/cbc/faq.html.

We ask interested companies and organizations to monitor USAID business opportunities and fedbizopps.gov, as these are the best sources of information on USAID solicitations for Haiti reconstruction.



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