Yesterday (Jan. 12) marked the one year anniversary of the catastrophic earthquake that struck Haiti. Nearly a quarter of a million lives were lost, more than three hundred thousand people were injured and more than a million people were left homeless. The President called it a “cruel and incomprehensible” blow to a nation that has known its share of hardship and suffering. None of us will soon forget the images of despair in the days after the earthquake, or the moments of hope as Americans joined together with people from around the world in a massive humanitarian effort.

A great deal of work remains ahead, work that will take years to complete.  Going forward, the United States will continue to be focused on a comprehensive strategy drafted in partnership with the Government of Haiti and our international partners to achieve economic growth and stability. This strategy will focus investment on the four areas of infrastructure and energy, food and economic security, health and services and governance and rule of law.

Long-term success depends on Haiti rising to the challenges before it. The United States remains committed to supporting the efforts of the Haitian people as they forge their future and we urge our international partners to do the same.

Patrick Gaspard

Patrick Gaspard is director of the White House Office of Political Affairs and is the highest ranking Haitian-American official in the Obama Administration. Read his entire Haiti column at