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26 February 2024

We must help Haiti, says Wyclef

A man carries an injured child in Port-au-Prince after the earthquake. (AP)

By Rachel McArthur

Following the news of a major earthquake in his home country, Wyclef Jean has launched a Twitter-led campaign, urging followers from all over the world to make donations to support Haiti in this troubling time.

The 37-year-old musician, rapper and record producer, who lived in Haiti until the age of 13 before moving to New York with his parents, said in a statement that those who can must "act now".

"Haiti faced a natural disaster of unprecedented proportion; an earthquake unlike anything the country has ever experienced. The 7.0 magnitude earthquake – and several very strong aftershocks – struck only 10 miles from Port-au-Prince," he said. "I cannot stress enough what a human disaster this is, and idle hands will only make this tragedy worse. The over two million people in Port-au-Prince face catastrophe alone. We must act now."

"President Obama has already said that the US stands 'ready to assist' the Haitian people. The US Military is the only group trained and prepared to offer that assistance immediately. They must do so as soon as possible. The international community must also rise to the occasion and help the Haitian people in every way possible."

Those living in the UAE and this region can donate funds to Jean's Yéle Haiti Earthquake Fund by visiting www.yele.org. Funds will be used to provide help to those who have been injured and left without homes.

The Earthquake Fund is part of the performer's Yéle Haiti Foundation, which he established in 2005 to provide scholarships and other forms of help in Haiti.

Meanwhile, Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt have vowed to support Jean's efforts in the coming days. The Hollywood couple – who have worked with the Yéle Haiti Foundation in the past – expressed their deep sorrow at the widespread loss of life in the earthquake. They said in a joint statement: "We are devastated by the news from Haiti. We will work closely with our good friend Wyclef Jean to support the humanitarian efforts on the island and help those who have been injured and left without homes and shelter."

Other well-known faces who are doing their bit include Ashton Kutcher – who has used Twitter to direct people to websites that are taking donations – as well as Swizz Beats, John Legend and Lindsay Lohan.


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