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Statement by Dr. Rajiv J. Shah, President of The Rockefeller Foundation, on the Crises in Afghanistan & Haiti

Like many who have worked in U.S. foreign policy over the last 20 years, I have spent a great deal of time in Afghanistan and Haiti.  On trip after trip, I was impressed by the courage and conviction of the Afghan and Haitian people — particularly women and girls — to build better lives for their families and better futures for their respective countries.  Unfortunately, due to the Taliban’s military takeover in Afghanistan and the earthquake in Haiti, both causes are at risk.

The Rockefeller Foundation stands with the people of Afghanistan and Haiti in these dark and dangerous days.  For more than a century, we have supported those seeking a better life, whether in the United States, in Afghanistan, in Haiti, or elsewhere around the world. We are a values-based organization, and we will do whatever we can to promote those values by protecting the vulnerable and empowering those seeking to make progress amid the most trying of circumstances.

To meet this moment, the Foundation is seeking to mobilize donations to support the following:

  • Although the needs in Haiti are still being identified in the aftermath of this weekend’s earthquake, we are planning to support organizations that are providing water production, food distribution, and shelter procurement.
  • As Afghanistan’s future grows far darker by the hour, we are also working to help organizations to resettle Afghan refugees in the United States and around the world, and to protect women, girls, and other vulnerable groups within the country.

As events develop, The Rockefeller Foundation will consider additional actions. Our commitment to the Afghan and Haitian people — and to all of humanity — demands no less.