Michelle Obama spotlights Haiti relief efforts
Tuesday's unannounced visit to Haiti by Michelle Obama and Jill Biden highlights progress by Haiti relief workers in the three months since the earthquake, and how much rebuilding lies ahead.
Mexico City and Port-au-Prince, Haiti
In Pictures Michelle Obama in Haiti and Mexico
Gallery Celebrities giving to Haiti
Subscribe Today to the Monitor
"It was a great show of support," says Haitian UN employee Christine Canal. "Now I just hope that all that goodwill will translate into something concrete for us."
That is the same sentiment expressed by international relief organizations, after Ms. Obama and Jill Biden, wife of vice president Joe Biden, landed in Haiti Tuesday morning – taking the country, and the world, by surprise.
Today's stop by Obama and Biden is one of several high-profile visits to Haiti made in recent weeks, including American actor Sean Penn and Colombian singer Shakira. French President Nicolas Sarkozy and several Latin American heads of state have also been here since the Jan. 12 quake. And former presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush have flown in too.
But many hope that a visit by the US president’s wife will provide more than just a media blip – and that it will sustain promises of billions made at a UN international donor’s conference on March 31. “A lot of money was pledged in New York, and we have to keep checking in to makes sure those pledges are followed through,” says Ms. Riddley.
Three months after the devastating 7.0-magnitude earthquake hit this country, the nation is still reeling from what many call among the worst natural disasters in modern times. Over 220,000 were killed. A million remain homeless.