Image: Former U.S. President Bill Clinton in Haiti.
Ariana Cubillos  /  AP
Former U.S. President Bill Clinton visits a school in Cite Soleil in Port-au-Prince, Haiti on Monday. Clinton hopes to lure more aid to keep the impoverished country from sliding back into chaos.
updated 3/9/2009 4:12:37 PM ET 2009-03-09T20:12:37

Bill Clinton and U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon are trying to refocus international attention on Haiti with a visit Monday they hope will lure more aid to keep the impoverished country from sliding back into chaos.

The former U.S. president and the U.N. chief planned to tour the run-down capital and meet with Haitian officials who have been struggling with high food prices and a devastating series of storms during a period of relative political calm in the Caribbean country.

Hundreds of people affiliated with the Famni Lavalas party of ousted President Jean-Bertrand Aristide greeted the delegation at the airport with signs such as "We love you President Clinton" and "Clinton, we need your help."

Clinton and Ban waved to the crowds but did not make any public comments.

The delegation that includes Haitian-born singer Wyclef Jean stopped at a school in the capital's rough Cite Soleil neighborhood, once the site of violent clashes between gangs and U.N. peacekeepers.

Ban spokeswoman Michele Montas said the visit of less than 24 hours was intended to call attention to the need to provide further international help for Haiti.

"The secretary-general and Bill Clinton will bring a strong message of hope that Haiti is still winnable," Montas said.

Clinton, who visited Haiti in 1995, has been popular for his past support of Aristide, a former priest with a strong following among the poor who was forced to flee following a violent uprising in 2004.

The U.N. chief, whose organization has 9,000 peacekeepers in Haiti, is scheduled to go from Port-au-Prince to Washington on Tuesday to meet with President Barack Obama.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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