Former US President Bill Clinton Visits Quake Victims in Haiti

19/01/2010 23:40
UN Special Ambassador Bill Clinton visited earthquake-devastated Haiti to see for himself the extent of devastation in the capital city. Clinton praised aid workers and doctors for their services and assistance to earthquake victims.

Former US President Bill Clinton flew to Haiti with his daughter Chelsea Monday to visit earthquake survivors and deliver aid from The Clinton Foundation.

The former president, who is visiting Haiti as a UN Special Ambassador, defended the current pace of incoming foreign aid citing lack working infrastructure like electricity and communication lines.

"I'll be surprised and disappointed if 48 hours from now we're not feeding and bringing fresh water to dramatically larger amounts of people," Clinton told reporters here.

Clinton had a first-hand look at the ruined city and witnessed earthquake survivors requiring immediate medical assistance. "They have done an amazing job given the adversity they have faced," Clinton told AFP of the medical personnel as he walked through the crowded hospital largely unrecognized by most of the ailing Haitians around him.

Clinton praised aid workers and doctors for providing the needed services despite the lack of equipment and hospital facilities needed to treat the quake survivors. "I think the people have been heroic," said Clinton, who was accompanied by his daughter Chelsea as they walked down hospital hallways crowded with the injured and the dying.

Despite the dire conditions, Clinton stressed that aid was flowing at an acceptable pace. "No, I don't think they were slow coming in," said Clinton. "The infrastructure broke down (as a result of the earthquake), and that's what we're building up."

"We are trying to be very targeted with what we're bringing in," he told AFP at the hospital, referring to the water, food, medical supplies, and other supplies such as solar flashlights, portable radios and generators being provided by The Clinton Foundation.

Clinton was scheduled to meet with the president of Haiti, Rene Preval and other government officials to discuss ways to hasten distribution of foreign aid.


(original article appeared @ Digital Journal )


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