An Update on the Situation in Haiti

Posted by DipNote Bloggers
January 16, 2010

More about the crisis and how to help: state.gov/haitiquake

On Saturday, January 16, Secretary Clinton will travel with USAID Administrator Dr. Raj Shah to Haiti to meet with President Preval and support relief efforts on the ground. Earlier today, the Secretary provided an update on the situation in Haiti. She said:

"I want to take a moment first to thank the American people who have been extraordinarily generous in the amount of support that they have shown for the people of Haiti during this devastating period.

"Through a State Department partnership with the Red Cross and mGive, we’ve raised more than $10 million from more than 1 million donors through our SMS Haiti relief campaign. It has become the single largest mobile donation campaign ever. One hundred percent of the proceeds go directly to the Red Cross for their activities on the ground in Haiti. But the devastation is far greater than we could have imagined, so please keep texting Haiti, H-a-i-t-i, to 90999 where $10 will be charged to your cell phone.

"I’m also pleased to announce a new tool on state.gov for those searching for loved ones in Haiti, or for those who have information. You can find the Person Finder – that’s the Person Finder – on www.state.gov/Haitiquake, H-a-i-t-i-q-u-a-k-e. And more information will be posted soon.

"I also have decided after consulting with President Obama and others in our government that I will be traveling to Haiti tomorrow with USAID Administrator Dr. Raj Shah. We will be meeting with President Preval and other members of the Haitian Government along with the members of the U.S. Government team on the ground, including our civilian and military leaders. We will also be conveying very directly and personally to the Haitian people our long-term, unwavering support, solidarity, and sympathies to reinforce President Obama’s message yesterday that they are not facing this crisis alone.

"I will also be able to see firsthand the ongoing efforts and deployment of U.S. Government personnel and resources for maximum impact to support the vital lifesaving relief and recovery efforts. We have an incredibly robust and complex set of relationships on the ground in Haiti not only among the various components of the United States Government, but many of our NGOs, representatives of our faith communities, as well as the United Nations, the international partners, and aid organizations. And I want to have an opportunity to consult with a number of those as well.

"As you can imagine, details are still coming together. We will get them to you as soon as they can be confirmed. But lastly, and perhaps it can’t be said often enough, our hearts and our prayers are with the people of Haiti, the brave rescue workers that are there on the ground literally working around the clock – we had some wonderfully heartwarming stories today of people being rescued from the rubble alive and well – and to reiterate the support that we feel for all of those who are caught up in this disaster.

"And finally, let me just say a word about our Embassy team. They have been extraordinary, working without stop. They bear the responsibility for the 45,000 or so American citizens there. They are obviously coping with their own losses and worries. But through it all, they’ve exhibited the utmost professionalism and I’m very, very grateful and very proud of them."Full TextHow To Help:Center for International Disaster Information | Clinton Bush Haiti Fund | InterAction | Mercy Corps | Red Cross | Text Donation

Comments

Comments

Candice L.
|
New Jersey, USA
January 15, 2010

Candice L. in New Jersey writes:

I am truly thankful that Hillary will travel to Haiti, and I pray her trip will be fruitful and speed relief efforts. My heart is very heavy and identifies with those stuck in Haiti.

Many are prioritizing the mission as "orderly distribution" of aid, but it should be emergency distribution!

Run it, bike it, hike it, fly it, drive it, push it, whisk it off the hot runway where it rots to people who are dying.

Please bring momentum, Hillary, and rush supplies off the runway - ask people to shoulder the food and hike with it, whatever it takes... feed the dying, for all of us who are unable to physically help at home.

Donald M.
|
Virginia, USA
January 15, 2010

Donald M. in Virginia writes:

How many times has it been said, "God's planet, God controls the weather, God brings wrath, God makes hurricanes, God brings Earthquakes, Tsamanis, God will outlast mankind on earth. All the Scientist in the world who were created by God will never outlast the Master. Knowing the terrible situation in Hati, our family has made a donation. The Campaign should be to raise Blood donations to help the wounded. Once again, remember, God has the final say, people do not. In the bible it says, he is the Alpha and the Omega. He doesn't give credit for the multitude of Science because he created mother earth. People can try and destroy it, but I seriously doubt God would let it happen, unless it was written. I despise what Mr. Rush Limbough said, peoples lives are at stake. Saving lives should the highest priority. Regardless of what your religion, or politics, put them aside to help the people of Hati. Fema should include Rescue Vehicles like amubulances and fire trucks. After the State of California having a 6.0 a week ago, then Hati with a 7.0 it just makes you wonder if an 8.0 will happens somewhere on earth? Let the scientist figure that one out before it happens?

God bless the people of Hati and hope they can rebuild their lives at this shocking tremor. I believe President Barack Obama's team has one a wonderful job in responding to the crisis, but something like this should include heavy machinery, like cranes and bull doziers to start moving the wreckage, un covering what could still be people alive. 3-4 days would be very rough on anyone trying to survive without water. Our prayers and thoughts are with HATI.

Donna B.
|
United States
January 15, 2010

Donna B. in U.S.A. writes:

Note of appreciation for USAID,DOD, Officials, Troops, NGOs, Individuals in various fields of medicine and technology enroute, on the field, and helping from state-side.

Gratitude to the United Nations, Departments within, and attached on international basis, as well as other various nations sending support both short-term and perceived long range in helping now and in rebuilding for the peoples of Haiti.

Joseph A.
|
Oregon, USA
January 19, 2010

Joseph A. in Oregon writes:

I am delighted to hear that the Secretary of State, along with Dr. Raj Shah will be travelling to the disaster area tomorrow, I think this is a very important and courageous decision which will greatly benefit the long term rebuilding process in Haiti.
I listened to BBC's World Have Your Say (PBS Radio) this morning, broadcasting from the Haitian district of Miami, Florida -- By coincidence,they've been broadcasting from South Florida all week. This morning, they again had a couple of Haitian callers on the line from Port-au-Prince via satellite phone, expressing to the Haitians present in the audience (many had family members in Haiti and their status remained unknown)an updated account as to the status of the aid reaching Port-au-Prince and presenting a live account as to what the situation was on the ground, the caller from Port-au-Prince acknowledged that supplies and rescue teams were arriving throughout the night at the Airport.

Unfortunately, there are many challenges and setbacks with getting the emergency teams, medical personnel and basic supplies to the urban areas of Port-au-Prince.

Monumental challenges in orchestrating a massive relief effort and with reaching the people who are either still alive and buried under rubble, or who are in desperate need of medical attention, particularly in Port-au-Prince and at a medical facility or hospital, which is out of all supplies in "Laguna-Azul". It was reported that they are experiencing a bottle-neck at the Port-au-Prince airport, damaged by the quake and that the main port is basically not usable. Due to the extremely heavy volume of inbound flights at Port-au-Prince airport and limited flight's off the carrier, I think they should consider a alternative staging area in the Dominican Republic and establish a clearly defined distribution plan within Port-au-Prince and the urban areas. Improvements are needed with tweaking the distribution of, supplies, water and urgent medical care, reaching the Haitians in need should be a priority.

My suggestion would be to consider utilizing an alternative airport and staging area (while the damage at Port-au-Prince airport is being assessed and repaired, including replacing the air-traffic control tower), the U.S., U.N. and EU should consider planning to utilize perhaps, the Dominican Republic as a alternative air-landing sight to rush in personnel and urgent medical supplies, once in the Dominican Republic, rescue teams and supplies may be sent in, shuttled in large numbers via helicopters or ground transported to Port-au-Prince and Laguna Azul.

I would also suggest, that the U.S. and UN consider coordinating more with the Cuban government for providing the urgently needed medical staffing and supplies. The Cubans, besides having a long term presence in Angola, have a lot of expertise in Haiti and with disaster relief, they are very well equipped and organized, they are able to get to the troubled areas quickly and are familiar with the local geographical area and culture. From what I gathered this morning, there are already a number of Cuban physicians in the Port-au-Prince area, they are well equipped but their status since the earthquake was not been reported, remains unknown or hasn't been clarified by any of the media sources.

I am absolutely delighted to hear the appointment of President Bill Clinton as the U.S. Special Envoy to Haiti, I am extremely proud of the concerted effort announced by the Obama Administration and with the unrelenting efforts I've been reading about related with the unrelenting efforts that the U.S. Department of State has been actively providing non-stop for the past ninety-six hours, launching truly a very intensive relief effort in such a large scale in such a short period. This is a disaster of monumental proportions, probably the worst modern day catastrophe since the Pacific Tsunami struck, it is truly a race against the clock to reach those who are buried and still alive and with rendering immediate medical aid.

Please let me know if U.S. Special Envoy President Bill Clinton, of Dr. Raj Shah may be interested in having my expertise and/or assistance with this monumental humanitarian and relief effort, I have excellent credentials, over twenty years of military and federal experience and I would be willing to devote my time with assisting in coordinating the relief efforts.

As an American and a Veteran, I am so very proud of the unwavering work by our Department of State,USAID, the international community and the dedication and efforts I have been viewing, reading and listening to from all my preferred media sources. This has truly been a remarkable effort over the last seventy-two hours, especially by the USAID,
Counselor Cheryl Mills and Dr. Raj Shah....should not go unnoticed, you guys are the best!

God's Speed and many blessings,

Joseph A.
|
Oregon, USA
January 19, 2010

For Donald M. in Virginia and Joe in Tennessee;

It's about time that someone stood-up publicly to Mr. Rush Limbaugh, whom I despise greatly, I wholeheartedly agree with you, we shouldn't take a monumental tragedy such as the earthquake which struck Haiti,a situation resulting in unprecedented suffering, death and destruction and turn this tragedy into a political or a philosophical debate. But, politically speaking, all eyes are on President Obama and Secretary Hillary Clinton, during this monumental humanitarian and disaster relief effort and the many challenges, which will be dealt with swiftly over the coming days.

For Haiti, this is the worst disaster perhaps in modern history, far exceeding any hurricane that has struck the island in the past century -- it greatly exceeds "a shocking tremor" and is unprecedented in nature. I completely agree with the need for more emergency response vehicles and heavy equipment on the ground, expeditiously, the result would be measured in saving, literally countless lives. It would be great to see someone within the USAID, look over and acknowledge some of the lessons we have learned in the U.S. during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, acting swiftly is very crucial in saving lives.

Unfortunately, there are many challenges and setbacks with getting the emergency teams, medical personnel and basic supplies to the urban areas of Port-au-Prince.

Monumental challenges in orchestrating a massive relief effort and with reaching the people who are either still alive and buried under rubble, or who are in desperate need of medical attention, particularly in Port-au-Prince and at a medical facility or hospital, which is out of all supplies in "Laguna-Azul". It was reported that they are experiencing a bottle-neck at the Port-au-Prince airport, damaged by the quake and that the main port is basically not usable. Due to the extremely heavy volume of inbound flights at Port-au-Prince airport and limited flight's off the carrier, I think they should consider a alternative staging area in the Dominican Republic and establish a clearly defined distribution plan within Port-au-Prince and the urban areas. Improvements are needed with tweaking the distribution of, supplies, water and urgent medical care, reaching the Haitians in need should be a priority.

My suggestion would be to consider utilizing an alternative airport and staging area (while the damage at Port-au-Prince airport is being assessed and repaired, including replacing the air-traffic control tower), the U.S., U.N. and EU should consider planning to utilize perhaps, the Dominican Republic as a alternative air-landing sight to rush in personnel and urgent medical supplies, once in the Dominican Republic, rescue teams and supplies may be sent in, shuttled in large numbers via helicopters or ground transported to Port-au-Prince and Laguna Azul.

I would also suggest, that the U.S. and UN consider coordinating more with the Cuban government for providing the urgently needed medical staffing and supplies. The Cubans, besides having a long term presence in Angola, have a lot of expertise in Haiti and with disaster relief, they are very well equipped and organized, they are able to get to the troubled areas quickly and are familiar with the local geographical area and culture. From what I gathered this morning, there are already a number of Cuban physicians in the Port-au-Prince area, they are well equipped but their status since the earthquake was not been reported, remains unknown or hasn't been clarified by any of the media sources.

I am absolutely delighted to hear the appointment of President Bill Clinton as the U.S. Special Envoy to Haiti and that Secretary of State Hillary will be travelling to the area along with Dr. Raj Shah tomorrow. I am extremely proud of the concerted effort I've been viewing, reading and listening to on various media sources. USAID, I truly salute you guys today, your efforts are phenomenal.

Nancy S.
|
Illinois, USA
January 19, 2010

Nancy S. in Illinois writes:

Today is January 16,2010
I am watching the Today Show and just saw a Haitian civilian screaming "No one is showing up, the Red Cross is not showing up, no help is showing up". I realize the devastation is more than overwhelming and they may not understand how hard the effort is to get what they need to them. I want to donate, however I want to make sure that in these desperate efforts, these supplies will in fact reach these people. I realize I am not in the midst of the rescue mission, but how am I assured that my donation is not in vain?

palgye
|
South Korea
January 18, 2010

Palgye in South Korea writes:

out of topic.

i`m serious. not joke. i`m always seeking solutions.

palgye
|
South Korea
January 18, 2010

Palgye in South Korea writes:

Will be a nation which is only the disposal is possible in calamity of national size will hang and thinks that again is proving.

This situation becomes the starting point which has the time of cooperation and regulation with opportunity. between countries.Put that much and, until at the time of the low thread.

When will be possible and will seek the method which will participate in recovery.

Normita
|
California, USA
January 16, 2010

Normita in California writes:

Secretary Clinton, thank you for sharing your thoughts on Haiti. This catastrophe affects us all, a human tragedy of the most unprecedented kind.

Please do whatever is necessary to render aid to those who perished, to the hungry, to the injured and helpless Haitians. No one chose this kind of suffering. You are the messenger of goodwill to them that they have caring, courageous neighbors, that their load is not only theirs to carry.

Thank you for your courage and compassion. God bless you for a safe journey.

Paul
|
Florida, USA
January 17, 2010

Paul in Florida writes:

Just what those of us trying to fly vital supplies and personnel into Port au Prince need. 2 useless bureaucrats taking up vital ramp space with a hulking great private aircraft. The largest private aircraft to go in there since the quake. What a terribly thoughtless act and pointless excercise.

Michael S.
|
Pennsylvania, USA
January 16, 2010

Michael S. in Pennsylvania writes:

Nice website. Very effective.

Jayne G.
|
North Carolina, USA
January 20, 2010

Jayne G. in North Carolina writes:

Are there enough nurses going to Haiti? Even though the doctors do great surgical procedures the patients may die without nursing care. In the midst of the current economy many nurses may not be able to consider losing a precious paycheck to go. A stipend paid to the nurse in this situation may make a big difference. What a great way to spend some of the donated money. I could leave tomorrow if money was not an issue for me.

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