As aid continues to flow in from all over the globe to Haiti’s capital, Port-au-Prince, in the wake of Tuesday’s massive 7.0 earthquake , President Obama again pledged on Thursday (January 14) that the United States will do all it can to help the impoverished Caribbean nation dig out from the disaster.
“To the people of Haiti, we say clearly, and with conviction, you will not be forsaken; you will not be forgotten,” the president said in his second statement in two days about the quake. “In this, your hour of greatest need, America stands with you. The world stands with you. We know that you are a strong and resilient people. You have endured a history of slavery and struggle, of natural disaster and recovery. And through it all, your spirit has been unbroken and your faith has been unwavering. So today, you must know that help is arriving — much, much more help is on the way.”
That aid cannot come fast enough. After a second day with no power, dwindling water and medical supplies, and desperate attempts to save those trapped under mounds of rubble in the flattened capital, Obama said that rushing assistance to the island nation of 4 million is his administration’s top priority.
“For the sake of our citizens who are in Haiti, for the sake of the Haitian people who have suffered so much, and for the sake of our common humanity, we stand in solidarity with our neighbors to the south, knowing that but for the grace of God, there we go,” he said.
So far, a U.S. survey team has been working to identify priority assistance areas, search and rescue teams have been deployed and the military has secured the airport and prepared it for the arrival of heavy equipment. Airlifts have been set up to deliver water and medicine. Coast Guard cutters, Marine units and aircraft carriers have been sent with supplies and injured American citizens have been airlifted out of the country for treatment.
MTV has compiled a list of some of the organizations that are soliciting donations and aid for Haiti .
In the wake of Tuesday’s giant earthquake — the worst to shake the region in more than 200 years — the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere struggled to deliver even the most basic aid to its citizens. With the major hospitals, the presidential palace and nearly every other major structure in the capital reduced to rubble, Haitians dug with their bare hands to free citizens trapped under piles of twisted metal and concrete. Citizens left homeless wandered the streets, where the bodies of the wounded and dead lay in the hot sun as medical teams rushed to treat the most severely affected with makeshift supplies.
According to CNN, $3 million had already been raised through a Red Cross initiative in which $10 can be donated to the cause by texting “Haiti” to 90999. Casualty estimates were not yet available, but Haitian President Rene Preval, whose two homes were destroyed by the quake, said he’d heard figures of 50,000 or more.
The United Nations announced $10 million in aid, while the World Bank pledged $100 million. Among the agencies that have mobilized relief efforts are Samaritan’s Purse, Islamic Relief USA, Jewish Federations of North America, Salvation Army, Catholic Relief Services, the Jolie-Pitt Foundation and singer Wyclef Jean’s Yele Foundation.
Jean’s fellow Fugees member Pras spoke to MTV News on Wednesday, urging people to text “Yele” to 501501 to donate $5 to the Yele Haiti Earthquake Fund. They can also visit Yele.org and click “Donate” to help.