In better news, we saw the arrival of the USNS Comfort, a hospital ship with more than 600 medical personnel, that adds important capacity to our relief efforts. Already, patients are being taken on board via helicopter, and treated.Read the full update and the Secretary's remarks here or watch below:
One area we are urgently focused on is the plight of Haitian orphans... Now, when it comes to children, it is imperative that we closely coordinate with the Haitian Government, the United Nations, and our other international partners such as NGOs and faith communities who are on the ground, who are working to ensure that aid reaches Haiti’s orphanages and that the newly orphaned children are accounted for and cared for.
But we will also be doing everything we can to unite the many children and families who have been separated in the aftermath of the earthquake and to do all that we can to expedite the travel of children who were in the line for adoption, who have a legal, permanent home, guardianship waiting for them.
There are reasons to believe that the days and months ahead can and will be better. Over the years, I have come to know the resilience and determination of the Haitian people. They may have seen more than their share of sorrow. They may have known more struggle and pain and nature’s fickle wrath than many of the rest of us. Yet they come through these storms, they are carried forward by their faith and their hard work, and I am confident that even in this darkest of hours, they will once again persevere.
President Preval and I have been working closely during this past year on plans for the future – for sustainable growth, for new opportunities. These plans, which are a very solid foundation, will, of course, be revised and rethought, but they will not be abandoned. Haiti will need not only the talent and grit of her people, including the Haitian diaspora, but it will need all of us, partners and friends who are committed not just in the immediate aftermath of this terrible earthquake but for the duration.
This was followed by a bilateral meeting with Milo Djukanovic, the Prime Minister of Montenegro. Read the full text of their remarks to the press here or watch below: