Press Release

Haiti Earthquake and Similar Disasters Are Focus of New GAO Webpage

Washington, D.C. (March 31, 2010) -- The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) has launched a new webpage highlighting its work on U.S. domestic and international disaster relief. The webpage http://www.gao.gov/haiti/ will make it easier to find GAO reports and testimonies that can help Congress and the Administration make informed decisions on U.S. aid to Haiti following the recent earthquake and develop strategies to address other natural disasters in the future.

“Our goal is to provide valuable insights and lessons learned that can be applied not only to the delivery of assistance to the people of Haiti but to future events here at home and abroad,” said Gene L. Dodaro, Acting Comptroller General of the United States.

“We believe policymakers may find GAO’s findings and recommendations useful in prioritizing assistance efforts, improving the efficiency and effectiveness of relief operations, and ensuring that aid reaches intended recipients,” Dodaro said.

The new webpage features five key GAO reports that examine international disaster assistance in the wake of the 2004 tsunami in the Indian Ocean, recent tropical storms and hurricanes in the Caribbean, and the 2001 earthquake in El Salvador, and Hurricane Mitch, which impacted several Central American nations. The work also covers the domestic response to Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Links are provided to each report in its entirety. Users can click on tabs to access more extensive lists of GAO studies on disaster assistance in general and foreign assistance to Haiti specifically.

Another section focuses on efforts by the international audit community to develop best practices to strengthen accountability for planning, budgeting and delivery of disaster relief by the international donor community. A photo gallery documents damage around Port-au-Prince and current relief and reconstruction efforts there.

The web page joins other specialized web pages the agency has developed, such as GAO’s High-Risk List, a compendium of government areas vulnerable to waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement http://www.gao.gov/highrisk/; and ongoing oversight of Recovery Act funds http://www.gao.gov/recovery/.

For more information, please contact GAO's Office of Public Affairs, at (202) 512-4800.

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The Government Accountability Office, the audit, evaluation and investigative arm of Congress, exists to support Congress in meeting its constitutional responsibilities and to help improve the performance and accountability of the federal government for the American people. GAO examines the use of public funds; evaluates federal programs and policies; and provides analyses, recommendations, and other assistance to help Congress make informed oversight, policy, and funding decisions. GAO’s commitment to good government is reflected in its core values of accountability, integrity, and reliability.