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Archive for Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Former U.S. presidents visit devastated nation

March 23, 2010

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— Former Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton clasped hands with residents of one of Haiti’s massive tent cities Monday on a tour of its quake-devastated capital — a visit intended to remind donors of the immense needs facing the recovery effort.

The two former leaders, who were tapped by President Barack Obama to spearhead U.S. fundraising for the crisis, made their first joint visit to Haiti. They spotlighted the dramatic need for help ahead of a critical March 31 U.N. donors conference in New York where Haitian officials will ask for $11.5 billion in reconstruction help.

Clinton and Bush greeted quake survivors camped on the Champ de Mars, the national mall filled with 60,000 homeless people. Secret Service agents and Haitian police surrounded the men as they waded into a fenced-in section of the mall where dozens of families have pitched tarps.

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