AMERICAN IDOL to Benefit the UN Foundation Fund for Haiti

Feb 24, 2010

Port-au-Prince, Haiti – American Idol Kris Allen lent a hand to workers clearing the streets as part of a UNDP recovery programme in Carrefour-Feuilles, one of the areas worst affected by last month’s earthquake. Alongside workers, Allen broke rubble, disposed of debris and chatted with residents.

"The people of Haiti are rebuilding their country,” said Allen, “and the UN is there to help them every step of the way.”

The singer visited the country as part of an American Idol special edition dedicated to Haiti to raise money for the United Nations Foundation, which will be aired on FOX on Thursday, February 25 (8:00-9:00 PM ET live/PT tape-delayed). Idol winner Allen will perform during the episode, and will share footage of his trip to Haiti with the UN Foundation to raise awareness and funds to benefit the United Nations as it works with Haitians to help rebuild the country.

"We are proud to partner with FOX and American Idol on this special episode," said Kathy Calvin, CEO of the UN Foundation.  "The UN needs our support to help Haiti address the medium and long-term challenges of reconstruction. Haitians are rising to those challenges, and we all have a chance to help them rebuild their future."

Since the earthquake, the United Nations has been working hand-in-hand with Haitians to help them recover. In the months ahead, the UN's life-saving work will continue, including delivering food, water, shelter, medicine and security to millions of Haitians, ensuring women and children are safe, and mitigating diseases such as measles and malaria.

Allen visited three projects carried out by different UN agencies. He also learned about UNDP’s cash-for-work programme, which has created employment for many who lost loved ones and livelihoods to the earthquake that devastated their country on January 12. It is estimated that 50 percent of the buildings in Carrefour-Feuilles collapsed entirely, leaving thousands homeless and jobless.

The cash-for-work programme is providing short-term employment to 35,000 Haitians who are helping to clean up their city and lay the foundations for long-term recovery while earning an income. Workers clear areas where access to water, markets, communal washing areas, and community centres are being restored. The programme has reopened areas of the city that were impassable as recently as a month ago, giving access to emergency vehicles and public and private transportation. The removal of garbage from streets and displaced settlements is also helping to curb the spread of disease.  

On Thursday’s episode of American Idol, Allen will perform the song 'Let It Be' and share video footage from his trip.

“I look forward to sharing the images and stories from my trip with Idol viewers across the country," he said.

The UN Foundation is one of the beneficiaries of IDOL GIVES BACK, the television event raising awareness and funds to benefit various U.S. and international charities. The special will be aired during the Top 7 Results Show on Wednesday, April 21 on FOX.

The UN is close to reaching its appeal for $540 million. To learn more about the UN's work in Haiti and how to donate, visit Donations to the UN Foundation are tax-deductible.

Images from American Idol Kris Allen's trip to Haiti

UN Foundation and Kris Allen in Haiti

Related information

Haiti in Crisis

UNDP Around the world