The US has announced that it will soon withdraw the 11,000 troops that it has stationed in Haiti while reaffirming its commitment to providing both immediate disaster relief and long-term reconstruction support. The US is already the largest contributor to Haiti relief efforts having donated $710 million so far. As long-term reconstruction efforts get underway the role of US troops will be transitioned into the hands of UN peacekeepers.
President Obama met with Haitian President Rene Preval at the White House on Wednesday. In a speech given after the meeting Obama declared that “The situation on the ground remains dire, and people should be under no illusions that the crisis is over. Many Haitians are still in need, desperate need in some cases, of shelter and food and medicine. And with the spring rains approaching, those needs will only grow. The challenge now is to prevent a second disaster.”