Remarks by Ambassador Rick Barton, U.S. Representative to the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations, at the Haiti Flash Appeal

Ambassador Rick Barton
U.S. Representative for Economic and Social Affairs 
U.S. Mission to the United Nations 
New York, NY
January 15, 2010




AS DELIVERED

Thank you very much Under Secretary Holmes, and my colleague, the Haitian Ambassador.

On behalf of the American people, of course we offer our deepest condolences to the people of Haiti, to the UN family, our colleagues, and partners, and of course to the OCHA family as well, which has been directly affected. We send our very deepest sympathies and hope that everything we do in the coming days will be in a positive and constructive partnership – that’s what we intend to do.

President Obama has made clear that the United States Government is going to do everything possible. As you know, we have almost 2 million Haitians living here in the United States and there are 40,000 Americans in Haiti, many of them already delivering assistance and doing whatever they possibly can.

Our official response I think is well known, but just to quickly highlight it for the purposes of this conversation – we have committed $100 Million towards the relief efforts. We have Disaster Assistance Response Teams from USAID along with a number of direct assistance teams. We are moving a variety of military assets into position including an aircraft carrier that will be bringing food and supplies of water, and we have teams of aviation experts that are trying to address the access issues, along with a number of others.

We are doing everything we can.  We have also extended, President Obama and others, direct appeals to the American people who are generally incredibly responsive in these kinds of cases.

Finally we’d really like to extend our thanks to you Mr. Holmes and your team for putting together this appeal so skillfully during this period of great pressure on you with your team already in the country and many of them having been directly affected by this tragedy. We are obviously going to give this document careful consideration and we will respond in the most robust possible fashion. 

Again, this is a partnership that matters to us. We believe that this is an important time to commit ourselves and our country to a fresh start for Haiti. Please let us know if there is anything more we should be doing.

Thank you.

###



PRN: 2010/040