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Haiti's Wyclef Jean says 'idle hands only make this tragedy worse'

January 13, 2010 |  4:40 pm


Grammy award-winning musician Wyclef Jean returned to his native Haiti today to lend a helping hand to his reeling homeland.  In a statement released this afternoon, the singer/songwriter/producer pleaded for immediate action by the U.S. military as well as help from the international community, warning that "idle hands" could exacerbate the problems.

Haiti yesterday 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 10 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 2 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 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.

Jean came to prominence in the early '90s when his group The Refugee Camp, best known as The Fugees, released the hugely successful debut album "Blunted on Reality" and the even more popular follow-up "The Score." Since the break-up of The Fugees, Jean has recorded several solo records and created the Yéle Haiti Foundation to provide scholarships and jobs for thousands of Haitians.

-- Tony Pierce

Haiti photos
Photo gallery: Earthquake hits Haiti | Twitter: Reports from Haiti | Resources: How to help

Photo: Haitian musician Wyclef Jean arrives Wednesday at the airport in Port-au-Prince. Credit: Lynne Sladky/Associated Press