Washington, D.C., January 20, 2010 – Former U.S. President George W. Bush, in an exclusive interview with the Voice of America (VOA), is assuring Haitians that the world cares deeply about the hardships facing them after the earthquake.
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“I fully understand the anguish that the people of Haiti feel,” Bush told VOA almost exactly a year after he left the White House. “I hope the people of Haiti know that our government is doing everything it can with our military and USAID to get food, medicine and water to you as quickly as possible.”
Bush also urged calm in the wake of the earthquake that devastated Port-au-Prince and the surrounding areas. President Barack Obama asked former Presidents Clinton and Bush to play a role in relief efforts in Haiti.
Bush and Clinton started a Haiti fund, which has already raised $10 million. Bush said many other organizations are also helping, such as the American Red Cross, the Salvation Army and Worldview.
Bush said he understood the Haitians’ frustrations.
“The first lesson, of course, is that aid never gets to the people fast enough,” Bush said. “I fully understand the frustrations and the anger. The people of Haiti have just got to know we hear their cries of anguish.” He added, “The people of Haiti are not alone.”
Bush emphasized the United States stands ready to help over the long term. “Once the immediate crisis has been stabilized, we won’t forget you that we will be around long after some of these groups have done their duty.”
Since leaving office after two terms, Bush has settled in Dallas, Texas. He has remained out of the limelight for much of the past 12 months.
Audio and video of the interview can be found at:
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