The World Bank on Tuesday “announced a $15 million grant to Haiti to fight a persistent cholera epidemic,” SAPA/Health24 reports. In a press release, the bank said it approved an additional $5 million to be added to a previously announced $10 million grant. “The funds, said the organisation in [the] statement, will go towards public campaigns to prevent infection and increase the capacity of Haiti’s health ministry to deal with the emergency,” the news service writes (1/19).
Also In Global Health News: U.S. Aid In Afghanistan; USAID Program To Improve Kenya’s Health Services; Diabetes In Middle East, North Africa; Regrets Over ‘New Delhi’ Superbug; Cholera In PNG
McClatchy Examines Ineffected U.S. Aid In Afghanistan McClatchy news serviceÂ reports that “[i]n the rush to rebuild Afghanistan, the U.S. government has charged ahead with ever-expanding development programs despite questions about their impact, cost and value to America’s multi-billion-dollar campaign to shore up the pro-Western Afghan president and prevent Taliban insurgents…
President Barack Obama on Tuesday â€“ a day ahead of the one-year Haiti earthquake anniversary â€“ released a statement urging the “international community to ‘fulfill its pledges’ to aid ongoing earthquake recovery efforts,” The Hill’s “Blog Briefing Room” reports (Fabian, 1/11).
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced the names of four experts to be part of an independent panel that will “investigate the source of Haiti’s cholera epidemic, which some Haitians blame on U.N. peacekeepers,” Reuters reports (Worsnip, 1/6).
“A new report [.pdf] from international aid agency Oxfam says reconstruction work has barely begun in Haiti following the country’s catastrophic earthquake a year ago,” RTE News reports (1/6). Even in developed countries, disaster recovery can be a slow process, the report states. But it also “said efforts in Haiti had been paralyzed by a lack of leadership from the Haitian government and the international community,” Reuters reports.
Though Haiti’s cholera “epidemic continues to spread, infecting more than 125,000 people and killing more than 3,200,” it seems to have “stabilized in” the town of Mirebalais, which is close to the “U.N. camp of Nepalese peacekeepers who are under investigation as a possible source” of the outbreak, the Seattle Times reports in a story outlining how aid groups and health workers are dealing with the situation.
A USAID official said Tuesday that potential violence following the release of Haiti’s final presidential election results could interfere with efforts to contain the country’s cholera epidemic, CBC News reports.
The Haitian health ministry on Sunday said there had been 2,535 cholera deaths since the outbreak hit in mid-October, “dashing hopes the fatality rate might be beginning to taper off,” Agence France-Presse reports.
The U.N. is looking into establishing an independent commission to identify the source of Haiti’s cholera epidemic, Alain Le Roy, the U.N. under-secretary-general for peacekeeping operations, said on Wednesday, the Associated Press/Washington Post reports. “We are urging and we are calling for what we could call an international panel,” Le Roy said at a news conference at the U.N. headquarters in New York. “We are in discussions with (the U.N. World Health Organization) to find the best experts to be in a panel to be completely independent,” he added.
Senator Leahy Calls For U.S. To Suspend Direct Aid To Haiti’s Government, Visas For Haitian Officials
Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), who chairs the Senate Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on the State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs, “on Friday urged President Barack Obama’s administration to suspend direct aid to Haiti’s government and visas for its top officials until it ensures a fair and democratic outcome to disputed national elections,” Reuters reports.