Michelle Obama’s Surprise Visit to Haiti
The First Lady shows support for earthquake victims.
In her first official solo trip outside the United States, Michelle Obama made an unannounced stop Tuesday in Haiti, inspecting the damage from the earthquake and talking with children in a refugee camp.
Mrs. Obama , along with Jill Biden, wife of Vice President Joe Biden, made the stop before continuing on to another engagement in Mexico City later in the day. The White House did not release information about the stopover until the last minute because of concern about security and crowd control.
Accompanied by Haitian First Lady Elisabeth Preval, Mrs. Obama went to a children’s play area in one of the enormous refugee camps that sprang up after the January earthquake virtually leveled the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince. “We are glad to see you,” the children sang to the First Lady in Creole. Mrs. Obama also flew over Port-au-Prince in an Army helicopter and met with Haitian President Rene Preval.
“It’s powerful,” the First Lady told reporters, according to The Associated Press. “The devastation is definitely powerful.”
In a statement, the White House said the visit was meant “to underscore to the Haitian people and the Haitian government the enduring U.S. commitment to help Haiti recover and rebuild.”
So far, the United States has provided almost $1 billion in aid to Haiti and has pledged the same amount in additional aid. (The Associated Press)