Haitian-born/American-raised musician Wyclef Jean first broke onto the scene as a member of the '90s hip-hop outfit the Fugees. In recent years, however, he's become as well known for his humanitarian efforts as for his music. Most prominently, he founded the Yéle Haiti Foundation, an organization that was formed in 2005 in the wake of Hurricane Jeanne, which strives to provide Haitians with food and scholarships.
Yesterday (January 12), Haiti's capital city, Port-au-Prince, was struck by a 7.0 earthquake. The results of the quake have been devastating, and Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive told CNN that he believes the death toll may be as high as 100,000.
In response to the disaster, Wyclef Jean released the following statement:
Haiti today faced a natural disaster of unprecedented proportion, an earthquake unlike anything the country has ever experienced. The magnitude 7.0 earthquake - and several very strong aftershocks - struck only ten miles from Port-au-Prince. 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 tonight face catastrophe alone. We must act now.
President Obama has already said that the U.S. stands "ready to assist" the Haitian people. The U.S. Military are 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.
According to ABC, Obama has promised "swift, coordinated, and aggressive" aid for the estimated three million people directly affected by the earthquake.
Jean is urging both Americans and Canadians to donate to the relief fund, which you can do over at the Yéle Haiti Foundation website.