TODAY

TODAY   |  February 10, 2010

Jolie visits Haiti earthquake victims

Actress learns the plight of many undocumented children who desperately need to be relocated to another country for medical attention. NBC’s Mike Taibbi reports.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> matt, thank you. in haiti on tuesday, some star power in the middle of the chaos. angelina jolie , a goodwill ambassador for the united nations , visited quake victims, including some of the children being treated in makeshift hospitals. nbc's mike taibbi has the story of one of those tiniest victims. mike, good morning.

>> reporter: good morning, meredith. angelina jolie had already visited quake victims hospitalized in the dominican republic , and while her itinerary had been kept secret for security reasons, she started with a visit to a field hospital run by doctors without borders. away from a distance but no comments by the actress or about her by any officials, but inside this field hospital , she surely learned about the plight of a 3-month-old girl the staff named landina. her real name and parents are unknown, but she needs evacuation for a complex surgery for a fractured skull, surgery that might save her life.

>> it won't be covered with the equipment we have here.

>> reporter: but because she has no documentation and special permission to be airlifted out has been slow in coming, she has languished here for days. it's the same problem plaguing other field hospitals like the one run by medishare, especially since those ten baptist missionaries were arrested and jailed for attempting child kidnapping. while evacuations by military aircraft continue, private pilots say they'll fly their mercy missions only on one condition.

>> just hand me some papers, i'll do it. i just want to make sure i'm not going to get in trouble about it.

>> reporter: and if there's no papers, no flight.

>> exactly.

>> reporter: before the baptist missionaries were jailed, 10 to 15 children were evacuated daily on private flights. in the two weeks since then, no more than a half dozen total have been flown out privately for needed care, adding to a grieving tally here in haiti .

>> a few deaths last week to patients that could have gotten out but didn't or the papers weren't done in time, and certainly, worse outcomes for a lot of children.

>> reporter: some good news for landina, though. with her story highlighted by britain's channel 4 , a plan to evacuate her has reportedly been worked out, perhaps as early as today. and that plan allegedly worked out before jolie arrived, the actress who's going to visit a couple other facilities here in haiti before she leaves later today . meredith?

>> mike taibbi , thank you very much.