Sean Penn calls for Haiti investments

Hollywood star Sean Penn has claimed Haiti is a good place for investments.The actor’s J/P Haitian Relief Organization ( has set up around 200,000 all-weather tents in the country which was hit by a massive earthquake one year ago.Penn told Austrian magazine News: “Every company of the Western World can make a profit in six years time if they realise now that Haiti is a good place to make investments.”The “Mystic River” star said: “If you take 200 people (in Haiti), 199 would ask me for a job and just one for money. You find dedicated workers here who are keen to learn how to build up their country again.”Penn will meet with Austrian opinion leaders including Social Democratic (SPÖ) Chancellor Werner Faymann and Telekom Austria (TA) boss Hannes Ametsreiter in Vienna on Monday (15 February).Speaking to News about his initiative in the poverty-stricken country, he said: “Haiti is probably one of the most beautiful countries in the world, but it is in a disastrous state. There’s a bad stench in the air, the water is polluted and people have lost all of their hope. It’s a nice task to help change all that.”The 50-year-old Oscar winner has previously been involved in helping people all over the world start to rebuild their lives after natural disasters.Asked what is best to tell people in Europe who doubt whether supporting the people of Haiti makes any sense, he said: “Tell them around 4,000 people died from cholera (in the most recent epidemic), with the same figure of estimated unknown cases. The sceptics should imagine a line of 8,000 corpses – and the fact that 99 per cent of victims could have been saved with a minimal effort.”Penn explained: “A country like the USA could keep an epidemic of such a scale at bay within five days, here in Haiti this might take five years.”The actor – who starred in acclaimed movies like “Dead Man Walking” and “I am Sam” – added: “The US government promised to contribute nine billion US dollars  (6.65 billion Euros) as immediate, first-off support – but some Republican senators are blocking the transaction due to issues affecting interior policies and for selfish reasons. It’s a disgrace and an exploitation of the suffering of the people in Haiti.”