Supplemental Appropriations 2010

Overview

The Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2010 (H.R. 4899) was introduced in the House on March 21, 2010 by Rep. David Obey (D-WI) and signed into law on July 26, 2010.

Its purpose was not to appropriate to women’s initiatives directly, but rather to fund future State Department initiatives in Haiti and reimburse those US agencies involved in initial earthquake response, which included: the Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security, and the Department of Health.

The bill appropriates a total of $2.93 billion to Haiti, including earmarks of roughly $1.642 billion for relief,  $1.14 billion for reconstruction, $147 million for diplomatic and consular operations, and  $220 million in canceled debt owed by Haiti. The following is a detailed breakdown of appropriations:

  • $150 million in Food for Peace Grants.
  • A total of $935 million in reimbursements, broken down as follows:
    • $655 million for reimbursement to the Department of Defense
    • $60 million for reimbursement to the Department of Homeland Security
    • $220 million for reimbursement to the Department of Health for health and social services response activities.
  • A total of $1.7 billion for the Department of State, broken down as follows:
    • $749 million for Economic Support for recovery, rehabilitation and reconstruction for Haiti.
    • $212 million for Haiti debt relief
    • $143.5 million for narcotics control and law enforcement programs.
    • $65 million for Diplomatic and Consular Programs.
    • $84.5 million for housing existing diplomatic and development personnel.
    • $96.5 million for the US contribution to the UN Peacekeeping Mission.
    • $5 million for international broadcasting operations.
    • $1.5 million for the USAID Office of the Inspector General.
    • $7.1 million for technical assistance to be provided by the Department of Treasury.
    • $400 million to reimburse International Disaster Assistance.
  • GRAND TOTAL: Approximately $2.93 billion

The Role of Appropriations in Assisting Haitian Women

While the Supplemental Appropriations Act does not appropriate funds to specific women’s projects in Haiti, it provides a directive that all of the appropriated $2.93 billion be used to benefit Haitian women “to the maximum extent practicable.” As a result of the lobbying efforts of women rights groups in the US, the act–now Public Law No: 111-212–reads:

Sec. 1007  (d) Funds appropriated in this chapter that are made available for assistance for Haiti shall be made available, to the maximum extent practicable, in a manner that emphasized the participation and leadership of Haitian women and directly improves the security and economic and social well-being, and political status of Haitian women and girls.

While a seemingly small section of a 41-page bill, this section illustrates Congress’  commitment to women’s participation, leadership, and security. More importantly, it provides a metric by which Congress may measure the success of State Department initiatives funded by the Supplemental Appropriations Act. Inf act, the effect of Sec. 1007 (d) can already be seen in the State Department’s spending plan (click link to download) submitted to Congress in September 2010.

Women in the State Department Spending Plan: Haiti 2010

In order to received the approximate $1.5 billion appropriated by Congress for Haiti, the State Department was required to submit a spending plan. The plan was submitted in September 2010 and approved by Congress in October 2010. As a result of Sec. 1007 (d), the plan contains the following goals pertaining to Haitian women and girls:

…programs will integrate gender considerations, analyzing men and women’s role and access to resources to help ensure that USG activities benefit all segment of the population. Greater women’s leadership in areas of governance and reconstruction will be encouraged. (p. 4)

The USG will encourage greater use of public-private partnerships, local NGOs, and US small, minority, and women-owned businesses. (p. 5)

In coordination with other donors, USG technical advisers…will assist in major policy areas such as…gender considerations in shelter planning at the national and local level. (p. 7)

USG funding will ensure that trained staff are in place and protocols are followed within healthcare facilities to recognize, treat, and refer victims of gender-based violence (GBV) and child abuse, exploitation, violence, and neglect, to appropriate social, psychological, and legal services. (p 14)

With supplemental funding, the USG will expand its support to prevent and respond to human rights abuses, including human trafficking, gender-based violence and exploitation, violence, neglect, and child abuse. (p. 20)

USG programs will improve the capacity of GOH institutions, such as…the Ministry of Women’s Affairs, and the Haitian National Police Brigade for the Protection of Minors.” (p. 20)

A portion of the funds will be used to enhance protection from gender-based violence, including in IDP camps, as well as provide services for child and adult victims of sexual abuse during investigation of such crimes. (p. 24)

Each of these references to women are significant because each are goals that may be monitored and evaluated by either the State Department and Congress at any time. Thus, Sec. 1007 (d) has proven to be a small, but mighty addition to a multi-billion dollar proposal.