Van Nuys, CA -- Howard L. Berman (D-CA), chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, issued the following statement today concerning the devastating earthquake in Haiti:

"This disaster has had devastating consequences for countless Haitians, and our hearts go out to the people of Haiti and the hundreds of thousands of Haitian-Americans.

"Our thoughts are also with the peacekeepers and other representatives of the United Nations who have been killed or injured in the quake, and the courageous humanitarian workers and search and rescue teams who are currently working around the clock to find and treat the survivors.

"A catastrophe of this magnitude highlights the importance of having sufficiently fast and flexible resources at the ready to respond in a meaningful and effective way. I am in touch with the Administration to determine whether legislation is needed to provide additional humanitarian aid or emergency authorities that would improve our ability to save lives and relieve suffering. President Obama has rightly designated the new USAID Administrator, Rajiv Shah, as our country's Unified Disaster Coordinator. I will be working closely with Dr. Shah to ensure that especially in these critical first hours and days our country's response will be swift, coordinated and aggressive, just as the President pledged."