Echoing all of his statements from recent days, in addition to his Newsweek cover story, President Obama spoke in the Rose Garden today about the “historic effort” to aid Haiti, flanked by former Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, following a meeting in the Oval Office. The two former leaders, Obama announced, have agreed to lead the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund, which according to its website, will work to save lives beginning immediately with cash donations.
The site leads with the following letter, signed by both presidents:
Support the Earthquake Recovery Efforts in Haiti
On January 12, a magnitude 7.0 earthquake struck Haiti just outside the capital city of Port-au-Prince. The devastation – in lives lost, property destroyed, and families displaced – is immense.
At the request of President Obama, we are partnering to help the Haitian people reclaim their country and rebuild their lives.
Our immediate priority is to save lives. The critical needs in Haiti are great, but they are also simple: food, water, shelter, and first-aid supplies. The best way concerned citizens can help is to donate funds that will go directly to supplying these material needs.
Through the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund, we will work to provide immediate relief and long-term support to earthquake survivors. We will channel the collective goodwill around the globe to help the people of Haiti rebuild their cities, their neighborhoods, and their families.
We ask each of you to give what you can to help ensure the people of Haiti can build back stronger and better than ever.
Both of us have personally witnessed the tremendous generosity and goodwill of the American people and of our friends around the world to help in times of great need. There is no greater rallying cry for our common humanity than witnessing our neighbors in distress. And, like any good neighbor, we have an obligation and desire to come to their aid.
Thank you for taking the time to visit, and we hope you will donate to this worthwhile cause. The people of Haiti now need our assistance more than ever.
President William J. Clinton
President George W. Bush
In their media appearance today, Obama cited the work of former presidents as “a model that works,” remembering the work of President Clinton and the first President Bush after the tsunami in Asia during George W. Bush’s presidency.
You can see the entire press conference below:
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