Hollywood actor Danny Glover on Friday compared the devastation inflicted on Haiti by the January 12 earthquake to the destruction of World War Two, but said the world was “paying attention” and ready to help.
“Lethal Weapon” star Glover, a former United Nations goodwill ambassador, made the comments during a visit to the earthquake-hit Caribbean nation, in which he saw camps housing some of the hundreds of thousands of homeless survivors. He spent as day at the Aimer Haiti facility across from the American Embassy. Aimer Haiti’s hospital was one of the few facilities to survive the January 12 earthquake and handled thousands of people in the following days. Now, an average of 500 people stand, waiting, outside Aimer Haiti’s facility each morning.
“We have to understand the magnitude of this, really the magnitude of this,” Glover told Reuters before meeting with another Hollywood star, Sean Penn, who has a relief charity operating in one of the biggest survivors’ camps located in the Petionville club golf course in wrecked Port-au-Prince.
“This is … the pictures I remember watching, of looking at the remnants, the aftermath of World War Two,” Glover said. He was accompanied in the talks with Penn by U.S. congresswoman Barbara Lee, a California Democrat.
Glover had earlier visited Leogane, a provincial town southwest of Port-au-Prince and near the quake epicenter, which suffered widespread devastation in the disaster.
Haiti’s government says more than 300,000 people may have died in the quake, viewed by some experts as the deadliest natural disaster in modern times.
Borrowing a phrase used by International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Glover said the scale of the catastrophe in Haiti meant the country needed a “Marshall Plan” to recover.
This was a reference to the massive aid that the United States pumped into Europe after World War Two to help it recover from the years of conflict.
Glover said the disaster in Haiti should provide an opportunity for the Western Hemisphere’s states to help their poorest member.
“I think the world is still paying attention,” he said, looking ahead to a donors’ pledging meeting for Haiti in New York on March 31.
(Reporting by Pascal Fletcher; Editing by Eric Beech