Bill Clinton’s Extension to Help Haiti
By: Elzena Rankins
Long before the devastating 7.0 earthquake hit Port-au-Prince, Haiti and destroyed thousands of lives, Haiti itself as a whole was facing other problems with their economy. Haiti was and still is the poorest nation in the Western hemisphere. People where suffering and dying from malnutrition and malaria just to name a few; kids couldn’t go to school and people were living in slums.
Since the devastating earthquake, people are still suffering from these ailments, thousands are dead and nearly everyone in the city of Port-au-Prince are without a home and food to eat. However, more and more people are standing up and helping the country reassemble itself. Former president Bill Clinton was named “Special Envoy to Haiti” back in 2008, his job was to and is to help rebuild Haiti, with a mission to help stabilize the country.
However with Clinton’s latest doctor’s visit that had him out of work due to a heart procedure to fix a blocked artery, will he be able to continue to help Haiti recover?
Before Clinton’s mishaps dealing with his health that just occurred last Thursday, he has been back and forth to Haiti helping it face its most horrifying dark periods. Back in July of 2009, Clinton made his first trip the Envoy for Haiti. Back then Haiti was facing critical times due to tropical storms that nearly destroyed the city, causing hundreds dead and left without a home.
Now with the devastating earthquake just nearly seven months later, Clinton has been helping bring food and supplies to Haiti while at the same time locking down new idea’s to help Haiti. Before the earthquake hit in August of 2009, Clinton appointed physician Paul Farmer to help assist in advancing the economic and social development of Haiti, however due to the earthquake which nearly destroyed everything, Clinton must start over.
Now as Clinton is recovering, he is asking that more Americans dig in their pocket and donate, according to NBC. “We need more food, water and medical supplies quickly,” said Clinton. His goal is to improve health care, strengthen education and create economic opportunity. According to Clinton they will “spend about another week or so digging through the rubber to clear out the basic structure of the streets, then we will go through the recovery and rebuilding process.” He believes that the project will require hundreds of million of dollars in foreign aid. Clinton has even hooked up with former president George Bush to help Haiti recover. Clinton and Bush will partner up to help coordinate U.S funding efforts.
All in all the devastation that has happened amongst Haiti might actually be an advantage because of the numerous people who are willing to help Haiti rebuild itself. This is what Haiti needed all along, as the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, it needed to be fixed, torn down and start from ground up, Sadly, it is horrible that Haiti residents had to lose their families along the way. However; this is not new to us, we saw the same devastation with New Orleans as well. New Orleans wasn’t in tiptop shape either; the economy was suffering as well. And thousands of people extended their hand to help, however as months went by it seemed more and more people began to pull away. With that in mind, will Haiti as a country rebuild itself for good or will we see another devastation amongst our Black people like we saw with Hurricane Katrina?
Haiti is in need, they need our help more than ever, please continue to donate and keep Haiti in your prayers, as we might go on with our lives and forget subconsciously Haiti residents will still need our help.
For more information about helping Haiti or donating go to www.redcross.org