Throughout this week, I have had the opportunities to speak – on television and in person – about the rescue and relief underway in Haiti. These have filled a critically important function of getting the word out to audiences here and abroad regarding the scope of the multi-lateral relief effort currently underway in Haiti. The United States is committed to playing a leading role in these efforts alongside our international partners and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) on the ground. The ongoing contributions and support from countries across the Americas and the world, including the Dominican Republic, Brazil, Bolivia, France, Israel, Russia and many other countries are vital to Haiti’s recovery. The challenges are great, but the United States is working with the Haitian government and partners from around the world to collectively bring relief to the Haitian people at this time of crisis.
Rescue and relief in Haiti is a broad international effort. The Haitian Government is driving relief and recovery efforts as much as possible despite operating under the most difficult circumstances imaginable – circumstances of physical and institutional collapse rarely seen. The United States is consulting and coordinating closely with Haitian authorities, the United Nations, and the international community, as a partner in this process. We are operating 24/7 alongside our international partners and NGOs on the ground.
The response of the United States and the international community has been swift, massive, and is growing by the hour. Food, water, medical supplies, and other forms of essential aid are flowing into the country and relief workers are working around the clock to distribute it to the people who need it most. United States and international urban search and rescue teams are also working around the clock in a massive effort, rescuing 122 people to date. U.S. teams have rescued 43 and remain active on the ground, including at the Hotel Montana.
As Vice President Biden said, “We are not just searching for Americans…We are searching for human beings. We are searching for anyone we can hear a cry from.” Over the last 24 hours, the international community has expanded regular air deliveries of water and food packets. Haiti continues to face significant challenges – devastated infrastructure, severely limited transportation options, and security concerns – but together we are overcoming obstacles and doing more each day.
As we all mourn the loss of life in Haiti, I should recognize that this is profoundly personal for many of us, who have lost friends and colleagues. It is very personal for many in our Congress, who worked closely with Haitian legislators who lost their lives.
Alongside these international efforts, you can also make a difference. People around the world have already contributed more than $26 million through mobile donations. There are many ways that you can help right now:
* Contribute online at ClintonBushHaitiFund.org or text “QUAKE” to 20222 to charge a $10 donation to the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund (the donation will be added to your cell phone bill).
* Text "HAITI" to "90999" and a donation of $10 will be given automatically to the Red Cross to help with relief efforts, and charged to your cell phone bill.
* For those who have a significant in-kind contribution to make – such as a plane, a cargo ship, a team of doctors, portable generators, or large-scale water purification equipment – please log onto the website of the Center for International Disaster Information at www.cidi.org.
Keep tuning into DipNote and@WHAAsstSecty for the latest information on Haiti.