Washington (CNN) – Former President Bill Clinton, the U.N. Special Envoy to Haiti, praised the initial response to help victims in the earthquake-ravaged country and urged leaders around the world to contribute support and supplies.
In an interview with CNN's Wolf Blitzer on Wednesday, Clinton encouraged people to send money to the Red Cross, the Clinton Foundation or to a number of other aid organizations operating in Haiti.
"This is going to be a long-term process," Clinton said. "I would urge you not to give up on Haiti as a lost cause, because we can get through this, and it is even more important now that we honor the wishes of the Haitian people and the government to help become their partners and liberate them from 200 years of misery."
Clinton stressed that the goal right now is to "save as many lives as possible" with basics like food, water and medicine and he said that other counties need to send more helicopters. He said important lessons were learned during the aftermath of the 2004 tsunami in Asia and Hurricane Katrina in the U.S., and he said he is "impressed" with the job done so far by the U.S. military and by Minustah, the U.N. Stabilization Mission in Haiti.
Clinton was named to the special envoy position in June to help create jobs and basic services to the people of Haiti. He said his wife, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, is "so upset about this" and that she is doing whatever she can to help. The Clintons went on a belated honeymoon to Haiti in 1975.
"We have loved that place for a long time and we think that the people have gotten a raw deal time and time again, and they keep coming back, and they will come back again if people will see them as their fellow human beings," Clinton said. "They are hurting, but they are good people, and they need our help."