WASHINGTON (CN) – President Obama pledged $100 million Thursday to the relief effort in Haiti two days after a powerful earthquake devastated its capital city of Port-Au-Prince. “This is one of those moments that calls out for American leadership,” Obama said at the White House while highlighting American humanitarian efforts underway there and adding that more financial assistance would come later.
“In this, your hour of greatest need, America stands with you,” he said during an emotional speech. “The world stands with you.”
A magnitude 7.0 quake earthquake hit Haiti Tuesday, turning much of Port-Au-Prince to rubble and killing an estimated tens of thousands of people. Aftershocks are still shaking the region.
Obama said the first wave of American aid workers is now in Haiti, with more to come. “It’s important that everybody in Haiti understand, at this very moment one of the largest relief efforts in our recent history is moving towards Haiti.”
The United States has sent military personnel, an aircraft carrier carrying 19 helicopters, a military hospital ship, and several Coast Guard ships.
Apart from pledging government aid, Obama called on Americans to contribute to the effort. “We need to summon the tremendous generosity and compassion of the American people,” he said.