Former leaders visit Haiti

Former Presidents George W Bush and
Bill Clinton are visiting Haiti as part of their fund-raising efforts to aid
the earthquake-stricken nation.

The have toured the badly-damaged
capital, Port-au-Prince, and are meeting President Rene Preval.

They are also visiting camps for
some of the 1.3 million homeless people.

The two were asked by President
Barack Obama to lead US fund-raising after the 12 January earthquake that
killed at least 220,000 people.

The 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck
near the capital, Port-au-Prince, causing massive damage to homes, businesses,
government buildings, schools, roads and bridges.

Many of the survivors now living in
hastily-erected shelters face the prospect of landslides or flooding in the
coming rainy season.

The two former presidents have
appealed for funds to provide food, water, shelter and medical supplies.

Forming the Clinton Bush Haiti
Fund, they want to “channel the collective goodwill around the globe to
help the people of Haiti rebuild their cities, their neighbourhoods, and their
families”.

The fund has raised $37 million from
200,000 donors, including President Obama, who donated $200,000 from his Nobel
Peace Prize award.

Officials have said $11.5 billion will
be needed to rebuild the country and are expected to appeal for that much at a
donors’ conference in New York on 31 March.

The Inter-Amercian Development Bank
said it would relinquish $479 million in loans to Haiti and the EU said it
would pledge $1.35 billion in development aid.

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