A devastating earthquake struck the island of Haiti around 5 p.m. yesterday [January 12]. Haitian-born rapper Wyclef Jean, who has led many efforts in the country before, released a statement this morning to discuss conditions on the Caribbean nation and what Americans need to do to support its people in the aftermath of this catastrophe.

“Haiti faced a natural disaster of unprecedented proportion, an earthquake unlike anything the country has ever experienced," he said. "The magnitude 7.0 earthquake—and several very strong aftershocks—struck only 10 miles from Port-au-Prince. I cannot stress enough what a human disaster this is, and idle hands will only make this tragedy worse. The over 2 million people in Port-au-Prince tonight face catastrophe alone. We must act now. President Obama has already said that the U.S. stands ‘ready to assist’ the Haitian people. The U.S. Military is the only group trained and prepared to offer that assistance immediately. They must do so as soon as possible. The international community must also rise to the occasion and help the Haitian people in every way possible.”

Wyclef is encouraging people to donate to the Yele Haiti Earthquake Fund. Donations can be made by visiting the official Web site for the relief fund, Yele.org, or by sending “Yele” in a text message to 501501, which will automatically donate $5 on your behalf (the charge will appear on your cell phone bill). —Brooklyne Gipson

Watch Wyclef speak on the catastrophe on CNN below