|Ellison Expresses Condolences to Haitians|
|January 12, 2010|
Washington, D.C. — Congressman Keith Ellison (D-Minneapolis) released the following statement regarding the catastrophic earthquake that occurred yesterday on the Caribbean island of Haiti, the poorest country in the Western hemisphere.
“I extend my heartfelt condolences to the citizens of Haiti. My thoughts and prayers are with those suffering and in pain; those who have lost family members, homes, and their means of livelihood in this disaster. I join with my fellow Members of Congress in exploring every way possible to most effectively marshal national and international resources to assist our neighbors who had very little – and have lost even that,” Ellison stated.
The country’s strongest quake in 200 years has devastated the capital of Port au Prince, causing numerous buildings and homes to give way. Buildings including the United Nations headquarters (where over one hundred individuals who worked there are unaccounted for) the President’s official residence, hospitals, and cathedrals have all collapsed or had major portions of them cave in. Thousands of people are feared dead and many government officials have not been reached. Over two million of the country’s nine million people live in the capital of Port au Prince. The quake is expected to have affected six – seven million people.
“This quake is going to require a relief effort of historic proportions. The nation’s major infrastructure is reported to have been destroyed in the earthquake. I implore the State Department, U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and the Defense Department to use every resource at their disposal to come to the aid of our Haitian brothers and sisters,” Ellison said. “The good people of the 5th Congressional District of Minnesota and I stand ready to help in any way we can.”
“I am pleased the President has already designated the administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development, Dr. Rajiv Shah, to be our government's unified disaster coordinator,” Ellison stated.