JUNEAU, Alaska — Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin plans to visit Haiti amid a period of political upheaval this weekend to aid humanitarian efforts in the Caribbean country.
A Palin staffer confirmed Thursday that Palin, the 2008 vice presidential nominee and a potential 2012 presidential contender, planned to travel to Haiti with the Rev. Franklin Graham as part of the outreach of his Samaritan's Purse relief organization.
A spokeswoman for the group confirmed Palin planned to visit relief sites this weekend.
A cholera outbreak has killed more than 2,000 people in Haiti, a country that is still recovering from a devastating earthquake earlier this year and is in the midst of a disputed presidential election.
Gunfire and barricades were reported Thursday in the capital city of Port-au-Prince, and the U.S. State Department reissued a travel warning to the country and recommended against nonessential travel.
Graham said he appreciates Palin's willingness to visit Haiti during such troubled times.
"I believe Gov. Palin will be a great encouragement to the people of Haiti and to the organizations, both government and private, working so hard to provide desperately needed relief," he said in a statement.
Graham heads the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, founded by his father, the Rev. Billy Graham. His Samaritan's Purse has maintained a presence in Haiti, treating thousands of people, building a cholera clinic and bringing in plane loads of medical aid, according to its website.
Palin staffer Rebecca Mansour said plans called for Palin to be joined by her husband, Todd, and, Mansour believed, daughter Bristol as well. She described the plans as fluid.
After resigning as governor last year, Palin focused heavily on getting conservative candidates elected, earning a reputation as something of a kingmaker during the midterm elections and raising her own political profile.
Her travel outside the country has been limited since she burst onto the national stage, including a trip last year to Hong Kong, where she delivered a speech on U.S.-China relations.