Executive Intelligence Review
Subscribe to EIR

PRESS RELEASE


Bill Clinton Urges Immediate Aid
To Avert HIgh Death Toll in Haiti

March 29, 2010 (EIRNS)—U.S. Special Envoy to Haiti, Bill Clinton, has urgently warned that 20,000 to 40,000 people could die if they are not moved to higher ground in Haiti, to avert a health catastrophe during the rainy season.

"We gotta get those people out of there now," he said. He made his statement March 24 during an address to NGOs and donors operating in Haiti.

Here's the problem. If they die, our concern about the services we were going to provide them two weeks from now, won't sound very good.... I am pleading with you, if you can do anything about this now.

He said that the necessary action will not come from some grand centralized effort, but must be done now by those who have the means to help.

President Barack Obama turned down the emergency action needed more than one month ago as part of a centralized effort, rejecting Lyndon LaRouche's call on Feb. 22, to offer the Haitian government the logistical capability of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to carry out precisely that urgent relocation in the centralized fashion required to save the 1.3 million lives in imminent danger of dying from mass epidemics of dengue, cholera, malaria, typhoid and other diseases during the coming rainy season. Instead, the U.S. military capabilities deployed to Haiti for the relief effort were ordered to begin their pull-out.

Now, more than five weeks later, the rainy season is here, and as the former President warned in his speech at New York University's Rosenthal Pavillion, mass death could strike at any time. "Nobody knows what the weather is going to do. Maybe we'll catch a huge break," he said. "But every day we leave people in a low camp at risk of flooding, when we don't have to, is a day we put their lives at risk."

The problem would be further worsened in the event of a hurricane, and Clinton said he is trying to get at least one big hurricane-resistant building to be erected in each of the camps.

Clinton urged the NGOs and others to work with the government of Haiti in its efforts to "decentralize and decompress" Port-au-Prince. Aid, he said, must be used to support the government and its plans to rebuild. The NGOs must adopt as their mission "to work ourselves out of a job" in Haiti, by strengthening its capacity to become self-sufficient.