Nightly News   |  March 22, 2010

Clinton, Bush make joint visit to Haiti

As former presidents Bill Clinton and George Bush arrived in Haiti on Monday to get a first-hand look at recovery efforts, they were confronted by protesters outside the presidential palace who are frustrated by the slow pace of aid. NBC's Nancy Snyderman reports.

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>>> we're back. we have an update on the continuing crisis in haiti devastated by that massive earthquake ten weeks ago tomorrow. today two former u.s. presidents visited there to check in on the relief effort. our chief medical editor dr. nancy snyderman is there.

>> reporter: the two former presidents came for a firsthand look. but one of the first things they saw were protesters outside the presidential palace who were clearly frustrated with the pace of recovery. it was president george bush 's first trip ever to haiti . he said he and president clinton are in it for the long haul.

>> our mission is to help fill the gaps of human needs.

>> reporter: so far their fund-raising efforts have added up to $37 million.

>> our fund was established to do what we could to help in the short run, but to concentrate on haiti 's long-term economic development .

>> reporter: two months after the earthquake these once empty streets are starting to show some life again but the country is still hurting and the real road to economic recovery is going to be long and hard. the president saw that when they visited the tent city across the street from the presidential palace , now home to 60,000 people. this had been one of the most beautiful parks in the city.

>> we have seen the haitian people over and over again talk about hope.

>> yeah.

>> reporter: deep sense of national pride and hope. do you have the same?

>> yeah. i believe in humanity. i believe there is no circumstance that will wipe out hope. the question is what is the government going to do and the world coming together to make that a reality.

>> reporter: they met with haitian president preval as well. on the agenda, trying to make sure all the aid efforts are coordinated with foreign investments .

>> i have been coming here for 35 years. this country has the best chance it has ever had.

>> reporter: a chance and a long-term commitment that these two former presidents won't forget haiti . dr. nancy snyderman , nbc news, port-au-prince.

>>> when we come back, fire