Bill Clinton Digs In to Speed Haiti's Recovery

"We've still got formidable challenges to house everybody, to deal with sanitary conditions, get enough distribution centers for food," the former president said. "But I think they're really thinking about how they want this to work out in the long run. That's what we talked about a lot today. Make a list of everything you want done today. Where do you want the country to be in a decade?

"You have to decide. I can't do anything really until you make those two decisions. I can help fill in the blanks, and raise money and all that. I think they sense the earthquake has given them an enormous opportunity and an enormous responsibility. There are a lot of talented people in that room. I think they can do it."

In light of his new, expanded role, we asked Clinton if he was going to be running the country.

"No. That's important," he emphasized. "Over time Haiti has been through being abused and exploited by its neighbors, and being ignored, and then being helped in a way that was not designed to enable them to stand on their own two feet and help themselves. We don't want any of those things."

What Clinton does want is a working infrastructure -- and that seems far off. Tent cities and shantytowns stretch along roads carrying aid convoys.

'A Proven Track Record'

Our next stop was Gheskio Hospital. Haiti has the highest AIDS infection rate in the Western hemisphere, and this was the country's first AIDS clinic. It was also the first recipient of any money from the Clinton foundation. It was an emotional visit for the former president.

Today, the hospital is broken, but surviving. Patients receive remarkable care. But the signs of the quake are everywhere, including in damage to the building. Patients and staff sleep outside.

We asked Clinton how much of the $800 million or so in international aid has actually made it to Haiti so far.

"I can't answer that question, but I can say that what I've tried to do with the money that we raised directly through the Clinton-Bush Foundation and the money that I raised before that was established is to do what we did here today," Clinton said.

"There is a proven track record that the money has been well spent. That's why I try to document how we spend the money and that these people all get it, but you should not want it all at once, you should give it out as it can be effectively used."

Asked whether he agreed with estimates that 15 percent of all aid money has been disbursed so far, Clinton said "probably."

"But I think that keep in mind, the needs for the World Food Programme will go up as their capacity to distribute them goes up. The needs for temporary shelter, like the 20,000 tents that I've bought that will be coming here, will go up as we get certification from the national and local governments so that we can actually help to create a community here." It is estimated that at least 200,000 tents are needed.

We also asked the former president about the 10 Americans held for allegedly kidnapping 33 Haitian children, and whether he thought the Americans should be brought back to the United States.

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