Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Senator Barack Obama Issued Statement on Humanitarian Aid to Haiti

CHICAGO - Senator Barack Obama issued the following statement on the need for
humanitarian assistance to Haiti following devastating storms:

"My thoughts and prayers are with the hundreds of thousands of Haitians
struggling to survive the floods and devastation caused by the hurricanes and
tropical storms of the past six weeks, and I extend my deepest sympathies to
those affected by the loss of more than 500 lives.

"Time is of the essence in helping Haiti cope with this humanitarian crisis and
begin to recover. Tens of thousands of Haitians have been displaced and left
without shelter, Haiti's already struggling agricultural sector has been
devastated - and hurricane season is not yet over.

"The Haitian-American community is doing its part by supporting family and
friends in Haiti in their time of need. Now the United States government and
the international community must intensify relief efforts to bring food, water
and shelter to the storm victims.

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"I welcome the dispatch of $100,000 in emergency assistance by USAID and the
promise of 50 tons of relief supplies, as well as the deployment of U.S. Coast
Guard personnel and material and the pending arrival of the USS Kearsage to
help alleviate the immediate crisis in Gonaives. But there's more we can do.

"The ships, helicopters and air cargo capacity of the U.S. Southern Command
should be directed to provide Haiti the logistical support our Armed Forces so
ably provide around the world in times of humanitarian crisis.

"I also urge the United States to work in partnership with President Rene
Preval and the new Haitian government under the leadership of Prime Minister
Michele Pierre-Louis, and with key international actors (the United Nations
Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH), the Inter-American Development Bank, the World
Bank, the Organization of American States, and crucial bilateral donors) to
immediately assemble a task force on reconstruction and recovery to begin work
as soon as the storms pass.

"Together, we can help Haiti recover from this terrible series of storms and
renew efforts to bring hope and opportunity to the people of Haiti."

Source: Echod Haiti

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