Three million people -- almost a third of Haiti's population-- need aid, making this one of the great humanitarian emergencies in the history of the Americas. What Haiti needs most now is money for water, food, shelter and basic medical supplies to bring immediate relief to those who are homeless, hungry and hurt.
The entire United Nations system is working hard to meet these needs and to regroup on the ground in Haiti after the collapse of our headquarters building and the loss of many of our colleagues. The U.S. government has pledged its full support to the recovery effort, as have the governments of many other nations.
Nongovernmental organizations and ordinary citizens have offered to help. Even small contributions will make a big difference in the aftermath of such destruction.
But after the emergency passes, the work of recovery and reconstruction will remain.
Last June, I accepted the role of U.N. special envoy for Haiti to help implement Haiti's long-term development plan by increasing foreign government assistance and private investment and by coordinating and increasing the contributions of nongovernmental groups involving more members of the Haitian Diaspora. This work helps create more jobs, better education, better health care, less deforestation and more clean energy for a nation in desperate need.
As we clear the rubble, we will create better tomorrows by building Haiti back better: with stronger buildings, better schools and health care; with more manufacturing and less deforestation; with more sustainable agriculture and clean energy.
[Bill Clinton, U.N. special envoy for Haiti, writing in Washington Post]