January 13th, 2010
07:24 PM ET
13 years ago

Bill Clinton: Don't give up on Haiti

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/01/13/art.billhaiti0113.gi.jpg caption="'This is going to be a long-term process,' the former president said Wednesday of helping Haiti recover."]
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."

Filed under: Bill Clinton • Haiti
soundoff (10 Responses)
  1. T'SAH from Virginia

    I am in the process of getting our entire shcool district in our county to donate $1 or more. If every employee, including teachers and administrative personnel, donate $1, we could raise over $8,000 – $2 bring $16,000. Could you imagine if we got $5 each?

    Also, we will encourage the TEACHERS to send a note home with EVERY student and get them to get $1 from each family member. We have over 16,000 students in our district. Each student has at least a mother, father, a sister and a brother!!!


    January 13, 2010 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  2. LacrosseMom

    The Haiti crisis will show us, who we are as Americans. Do we only give when the people needing help are white? There are a lot of cynical comments being made on the blogs.

    To Christians: Everyone IS our brother or sister, even the poor Haitians.

    January 13, 2010 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  3. smithonpolitics

    Go away Bill Clinton.

    January 13, 2010 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  4. Marty, FL

    Thank you, President Clinton, for your thoughtful words of encouragement during these challenging times. Let the good of the human spirit in America rise as we extend our generosity to help our global neighbors in Haiti.

    God bless us all!

    January 13, 2010 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  5. Tired

    Good job Mr. Clinton. We need to pitch in to help the less fortunate.

    January 13, 2010 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  6. tarheel

    It's time for another bailout. Don't let a little thing like being broke hinder you from spending millions or possibly billions of dollars which we absolutely do not have. While a person may feel horribly about someone who has say.. lost their home to a fire, if you are bankrupt are you going to go out and borrow the money to help them rebuild their home while your home is being auctioned off?

    January 13, 2010 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  7. ron

    I can not believe that Fox is not covering this disaster! For a bunch of so-called Christians, they act as though these people being in complete misery is no big deal. I don't know what their Bible says, but I know mine. "The weak shall inherit the earth" my friends. You can accept it and do all you can to help the weak, or you can resist it. And, your Bible tells you about that too. Shame on Fox News. Shame on Rush. Souls for money....

    January 13, 2010 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  8. Scott, Tucson

    Well than Bill and Hillary ought to put their money where their mouth is and donates a few hundred millions of the money that they receive from their Saudi friends.

    January 13, 2010 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  9. ron

    By US military does this butt whipe mean "Commander in Chief"? Or is he still mad that Obama didn't serve him coffee??

    January 13, 2010 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  10. Otto

    Look President Clinton, you have two arms; you have resources and contacts. You have began a great job helping those poor people; they are counting on you to pull out every stop and continue the good job you are doing.

    I from a West Indian country, know very well what it is to be poor and from a country that have no resource to gain foreign exchange; Haiti is in deep trouble.

    I implore anyone and everyone to look deeply within your heart and give a little. The saying goes " One one coco fills the basket" What that means is, adding one coco at a time; fills the basket. One coco alone will not fill it and I am grateful and thankfull to everyone who; even during these tough times, have leant a hand.

    January 13, 2010 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |