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Former Presidents Bush, Clinton Visit Haiti

Former U.S. Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton have visited Haiti as part of their effort to raise aid and investment to help Haitians recover from January's earthquake.

The two former leaders made their first joint visit Monday to Haiti, where they met with President René Preval at the badly damaged presidential palace in the capital, Port-au-Prince. Mr. Bush and Mr. Clinton were also due to tour a tent city of homeless earthquake victims and visit a factory.

Mr. Bush and Mr. Clinton were tapped by U.S. President Barack Obama to lead fundraising campaigns and oversee long-term reconstruction and relief efforts in the Western Hemisphere's poorest country. The non-profit Clinton Bush Haiti Fund has raised millions of dollars for relief efforts.

Separately, the Inter-American Development Bank Monday said it had agreed to erase $479 million of Haiti's debt. The European Union is also expected to provide $1.36 billion in development aid to Haiti in the coming years.

Even before January's devastating earthquake, Haiti's government was struggling to recover from tropical storms that wiped out 15 percent of the country's economic output in 2008.

An international donors conference for Haiti takes place March 31 at United Nations headquarters in New York.

Some information for this story provided by AP and AFP.