‘We Have To Be Here With Them In Their Hour Of Need’
President Obama, in his first remarks on Haiti, said that his national-security team worked overnight to prepare to assist the Caribbean neighbor recover from yesterday’s earthquake. U.S. disaster rescue teams are on the way, an indication of the “forward leaning” stance Obama said he wants the government to take. Rajiv Shah, the just-confirmed administrator of USAID, will be the point person to coordinate those efforts.
“You will have a friend and partner in the people of the United States today, and going forward,” the president said in televised remarks.
Haitians in the United States can call 888-407-4747 to try to locate missing relatives, Obama said.
A statement just released by Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.), chairman of the foreign relations committee, says in part, “We are already working with local leadership to find ways to coordinate Massachusetts resources to aid as well. Our assistance to Haiti must be generous and sustained to ensure Haiti recovers from this humanitarian crisis and can eventually rebuild.”