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Sarah Palin is interviewed by Fox News's Greta van Susteren during her visit to a cholera treatment centre run by Samaritan's Purse in Cabaret, Haiti. Ramon Espinosa/AP
Sarah Palin

Cholera-ravaged Haiti 'so full of joy', says Palin

The likely Republican candidate for president travels to Port-au-Prince as part of an evangelical humanitarian delegation.

SARAH PALIN says she has been overwhelmed by how refugees living in Haiti’s makeshift slums are “so full of joy”, after visiting the ravaged island with a humanitarian delegation.

Palin made the comments after visiting one of the many camps that remain without supplies of clean water following Tropical Storm Tomas last month, as part of a group led by evangelical preacher Franklin Graham – who has previously condemned Barack Obama for having “the seed of Islam” and believes that faith to be “a religion of war”.

“They are so full of joy,” she said, responding to a question on how she had found conditions in one centre. “We are so fortunate in America and we are responsible for helping those less fortunate.”

Palin arrived in Haiti yesterday, having declined to issue any public comment about the visit, though Graham said he believed Palin’s presence would be “a great encouragement to the people of Haiti and to the organisations, both government and private, working so hard to provide desperately needed relief.”

The charity group, Samaritan’s Purse, had also asked reporters to leave its Haitian compound, saying the area would be subject to what it called a “security lockdown”. The group has been joined, however, by a number of reporters from Fox News, for whom Palin presents a regular show.

Haiti is still in a state of relative upheaval, with presidential elections held two weeks ago failing to elect a successor to Rene Prival; a run-off election is set for January, and the country remains in the grip of riots.

Graham’s aid organisation, Samaritan’s Purse – with Palin among its number – was expected to stop at a cholera clinic today where it would deliver Christmas gifts to local children.

AP says the trip is Palin’s first outside the US since she travelled to Hong Kong last year to speak to a group of Cantonese investors. That event, it added, was also closed to the media.

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