Haiti was hit by a massive earthquake yesterday. The news and pictures of this awful natural disaster has been plastered all over our television sets. It is hard to see without being emotionally affected. According to news reports, Haiti’s capital city of Port-au-Prince has sustained a serious damage. Power is out. In the aftermath of this destruction, it is obvious the needs of the Haitian people will be enormous.
For the sake of humanity, our government as well as each and every one of us should stand with the Haitian people in this dire time. We should all participate in any way possible to collect and send donations of medicines, blankets, food, etc.
I am pleased with president Obama’s engagement with Haiti’s relief effort. He is taking a wonderful leadership role in making the whole world focus on Haiti’s catastrophe. The president should be highly commended for his promise of an” all-out relief effort in Haiti”.
The reports and images from Haiti of collapsed hospitals, crumbled homes, and men and women carrying their injured neighbors through the streets are truly heart-wrenching. As we learn more about the extent of the devastation, our thoughts and prayers are with the people of Haiti and Haitian Americans around our country who do not yet know the fate of their families and loved ones back home.
I have directed my Administration to respond with a swift, coordinated and aggressive effort to save lives. The people of Haiti will have the full support of the United States Government in the urgent effort to rescue those trapped beneath the rubble and to deliver the humanitarian relief — the food, water and medicine — that Haitians will need in the coming days.
This is also a time when we are reminded of the common humanity that we all share, and Americans have always responded to these situations with generosity of spirit. If you would like to support the urgent humanitarian effort in Haiti, I encourage you to visit our website where you can learn more about how to contribute:
Americans trying to locate family members in Haiti are encouraged to contact the State Department at (888) 407-4747.
We will continue to stand with the people of Haiti and keep them in our thoughts and prayers.
With a broken heart,
Professor Mekonen Haddis