Senators Call for Aggressive Response to Earthquake in Haiti

People walk past a destroyed building after an earthquake in Port-au-Prince January 13, 2010. Thousands were feared dead in a major earthquake that destroyed the presidential palace, schools, hospitals and hillside shanties in Haiti, its leaders said on Wednesday, and the United States and other nations geared up for a big relief operation.

Senator Chris Dodd (D-CT), Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry (D-MA) and Ranking Member Richard Lugar (R-IN)—”along with a bipartisan group of Senators—today sent a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton expressing support for an aggressive United States humanitarian response to the earthquake in Haiti,” according to a press release.

In the letter, the senators pledged to work with Secretary Clinton, the State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) to speed recovery efforts in Haiti following yesterday’s earthquake.

“An aggressive and coordinated international effort—with active leadership from the United States—is essential in order to save lives and prevent further devastation,” the senators wrote. “This tragedy presents enormous challenges, not only to the people of Haiti, but also to the international community’s efforts and ability to respond. We want to assure you that we stand ready to assist you, Administrator Shah, and the administration in both the immediate response to the crisis and to the longer term plan for recovery.”

It was also signed by “Senators Leahy (D-VT), Bingaman (D-NM), Harkin (D-IA), Durbin (D-IL), Menendez (D-NJ), Corker (R-TN), and Barrasso (R-WY).”

(credit image – reuters)

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Filed under Emergency Relief, International Relations

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