In the News: Obama Pledges 100 million to Haiti Relief

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 By: Tiffani Haynes

President Barack Obama has budgeted to donate 100 million to relief for Haiti, the small Caribbean island that was struck by the 7.0-magnitude earthquake on Tuesday. Obama has affirmed that to the people of Haiti: “You will not be forsaken or forgotten.”

The earthquake struck miles away from Port-au-Prince, a major city with over 2 million people. Since the earthquake the death toll has reached almost 100,000 and many are still trapped under debris, waiting for help to safety. 

While Haiti is a state of devastation from the natural disaster, help began on Tuesday and continues to increase over time. The U.S. military has secured the airport to help relief workers and aid enter the country. According to CNN, the Haitian airspace opened today to welcome relief and the U.S. Coast Guard arrived on Tuesday.

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The American Red Cross has also stepped in to send food, water and medicine to the country. Since the travesty, individuals have been able to donate $10 to the Red Cross’ Haitian relief fund by texting “Haiti” to 90999. The effort has raised $3 million dollars since the donations began.

Others have began relief efforts. By texting “YELE” to 501 501 or going to the Web site, www.yele.org, people are able to donate $5 that will be billed to their cell phone bills. Celebrities and virtually all of the Twitterverse have also been sharing links and places to donate money, clothing and other goods. Haitian-American Wyclef Jean, music artist and humanitarian, has been urging people to donate and providing up-to-date information. Jean has been a huge supporter of Haiti over the years and has stepped up to aid with the earthquake recovery. Students and universities around the country have also began collecting efforts.

The U.S. has taken immediate steps to help the poverty-stricken country begin recovering from the earthquake.

“To the people of Haiti, we say clearly and with conviction, you will not be forsaken,” Obama said. “You will not be forgotten. In this, your hour of greatest need, America stands with you. The world stands with you.”

For more information on how you can help Haiti, visit www.yele.org or www.redcross.org. To locate family members and friends in Haiti, call 1-800-407-4747.

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