Beneath Wyclef Jean's tears are true statements about what needs to happen in Haiti's capital: an exodus and a rebuilding.
Jean is the Haitian rapper and producer who heads the charity Yele. At a tearful news conference, he pleaded for help in moving 2 million people from Port-au-Prince to tents outside the city.
"We need to migrate at least 2 million people in different parts outside Port-au-Prince. We need to have an exodus," Jean said as he wiped away tears. "If I tell them to go, they will go, but they need someplace to go to."
Given how difficult the situation has become in the capital, with blocked streets, no food or water, violence as people fight over goods, and a potential for a public health crisis from rotting bodies and a lack of sanitation, it makes sense to relocate people.
Setting up outside the city will allow for aid to be distributed more effectively. Haitians will not have to resort to breaking in stores and risk being shot by police. Residents are resorting to street justice at the urging of police. Kids are fighting over food in the street. Aid is trickling in slowly, and that is causing problems as medics are treating people with gunshot wounds and other injuries not caused by the 7.0 magnitude earthquake, which may have killed 200,000 people.
According to the Associated Press:
The port remains blocked. Distribution of food, water and supplies from the city's lone airport to the needy are increasing but still remained a work in progress, frustrating many survivors who sleep in the streets and outdoor camps of tens of thousands.
Pockets of looting and violence in Haiti's devastated capital are hindering a slow improvement in much-needed aid delivery, and with local and foreign police still thin, some residents have banded together to protect the few possessions they have left.
Wyclef, whose charity has come under scrutiny, is also right when he says that we need to start thinking about the future of Haiti
"Keep in mind that we are moving into 21st-century Haiti. Beyond the tent, I want you to think of new communities," said Jean, who admitted that he has made mistakes regarding his charity but denies using any money for personal gain.
This terrible disaster must be used as an opportunity to rebuild Haiti. The tiny island nation must be the focus of an international effort to help build an effective government and ease suffering in a place where 70 percent of people are unemployed. This situation has been allowed to fester for hundreds of years.
"I do not cry for myself. I cry for them," said Jean.
When the bodies are removed, the cameras leave and the streets of Port-au-Prince are bulldozed, the gaze and aid of the international community needs to be fixed on Haiti to help make lasting change. If not, the world will continue to turn to Haiti every few years to witness the depths of human suffering and despair.