News / Americas

Obama, Haitian President Discuss Earthquake Relief Efforts

Multimedia

Audio

Haiti's President Rene Preval has discussed his country's earthquake recovery and economic needs with President Barack Obama in a meeting at the White House.  It was President Obama's first meeting with the Haitian leader.

Nearly two months after a massive earthquake devastated Haiti, President Preval used his visit to Washington to outline what he would like to see the United States and the world provide for recovery and reconstruction.

At a White House Rose Garden event with President Barack Obama, the Haitian leader said at the top of his list is protection of the homeless and preparations for the rainy season.

President Preval thanked Americans for the flood of official and private aid, and moral support in a time of crisis.

"I would like to thank the American people, to thank Congress, to thank the administration and you in particular Mr. President, as well as your wife - not only for the material aid - but also for the moral support, the psychological support that helped us realize that we were not alone and that provided us great comfort in our distress," he said.

President Obama said the United States has been proud to play a leading role in relief efforts, and intends to remain a partner, even as the U.S. military hands off key functions to Haitian and international partners.

"America's commitment to Haiti's recovery and reconstruction must endure and will endure," said President Obama.  "This pledge is one that I made at the beginning of this crisis and I intend for America to keep this pledge."

President Obama recognized the numerous non-government organizations involved in Haiti relief, along with the U.S. military and various U.S. government agencies.

Both leaders stepped into the audience to shake hands with workers from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, U.S. Agency for International Development, U.S. Army, and others involved in relief.

Members of Congress concerned about Haiti also attended the event, and President Preval journeyed to Capitol Hill to meet Democratic and Republican leaders in the House of Representatives and Senate.

Congress will be receiving an Obama administration request for more than $1 billion in additional aid, before an international donors conference the United States will host later this month at the United Nations.

The House of Representatives is considering a measure urging U.S. support for cancellation of all debts Haiti owes to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and other international financial institutions.

In his remarks, President Preval also referred again to the need for "decentralization", an effort to undertake reconstruction and economic development in a way that will not concentrate populations in major urban areas.

"Namely, offering health care, education, jobs to all Haitians men and women regardless of where they live in the country in order to prevent migratory flows toward the big cities, toward Port au Prince, and that will help avoid that disasters such as the earthquake will cause so many victims [in the future]," added Preval.

In their White House meeting, President Obama said he and President Preval discussed that the situation in Haiti remains dire, adding that no one should be under the illusion the crisis has ended.

You May Like

Uganda Court Annuls Anti-Gay Law

Court says law was passed in parliament without enough members present for a full quorum More

Multimedia Thailand Makes Efforts to Improve Conditions for Migrant Laborers

In Thailand, its not uncommon for parents to bring their children to work; one company, in-collaboration with other organizations, address safety concerns More

In Indonesia, Jihad Video Raises Concern

Video calls on Indonesians to join Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, ISIL More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
In Thailand, Some Efforts to Improve Conditions For Migrant Laborersi
X
Steve Herman
August 01, 2014 6:22 PM
Thailand has been facing increasing international scrutiny as a hub of human trafficking and slave labor. Some of the kingdom’s companies are striving to improve working conditions, especially for the millions of migrant laborers from surrounding countries. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok takes a look at one initiative for children at construction sites
Video

Video In Thailand, Some Efforts to Improve Conditions For Migrant Laborers

Thailand has been facing increasing international scrutiny as a hub of human trafficking and slave labor. Some of the kingdom’s companies are striving to improve working conditions, especially for the millions of migrant laborers from surrounding countries. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok takes a look at one initiative for children at construction sites
Video

Video Public Raises its Voice on Power Plant Pollution

In the United States, proposed rules to cut pollution from the nation’s 600 coal-fired power plants are generating a heated debate. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, charged with writing and implementing the plan, has already received 300,000 written comments. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, another 1,600 people are lining up this week at EPA headquarters and at satellite offices around the country to give their testimony in person.
Video

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict in Gaza, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities. Probably the most important destination is the local bakery. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Gaza City.
Video

Video China Investigates Powerful Former Security Chief

The public in China is welcoming the Communist Party's decision to investigate one of the country's once most powerful politicians, former domestic security chief Zhou Yongkang. Analysts say the move by President Xi Jinping is not only an effort to win more support for the party, but an essential step to furthering much needed economic reforms and removing those who would stand in the way of change. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US-Funded Program Offers Honduran Children Alternative to Illegal Immigration

President Obama and Central American leaders recently agreed to come up with a plan to address poverty and crime in the region that is fueling the surge of young migrants trying to illegally enter the United States. VOA’s Brian Padden looks at one such program in Honduras - funded in part by the United States - which gives street kids not only food and safety but a chance for a better life without, crossing the border.
Video

Video 'Fab Lab' Igniting Revolution in Kenya

The University of Nairobi’s Science and Technology Park is banking on 3-D prototyping to spark a manufacturing revolution in the country. Lenny Ruvaga has more for from Nairobi's so-called “FabLab” for VOA.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.

AppleAndroid

More Americas News

Judge Criticizes Argentina for 'Half-truths' at Hearing

US District Judge Thomas Griesa orders nation to stop making misleading public statements, 'half truths' concerning status of their debts
More

House to Vote on Revised Border Security Bill

Some GOP representatives optimistic party has votes needed to pass bill
More

Video US-Funded Program Offers Honduran Children Alternative to Illegal Immigration

Program gives street kids not only food and safety, but a chance for a better life without crossing US border
More

US Senate Kills Immigration Bill, House to Vote Friday

Earlier Thursday, Republican-led chamber abandoned plans to vote on $659 million bill that addresses influx of more than 57,000 unaccompanied Central American children
More

Argentina Defaults Again on Debt

Negotiators failed late Wednesday to reach an agreement with New York investment companies to avert the default
More

Cameroon’s Coffee Farmers Blame Government for Production Drops

Cameroon's growers, dealers and experts mourn declines in a nation that once ranked 12th in the world.
More