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OPINION: U.S. Administration Must Address Humanitarian Situation In Haiti

Reps. Yvette Clarke (D-N.Y.), Donald Payne (D-N.J.), and Frederica Wilson (D-Fla.) write in a Huffington Post opinion piece that the “increasing gravity of the situation” of internally displaced persons (IDP) camps in Haiti “requires an urgent response. This is why we and 50 other members of Congress sent a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton asking the U.S. administration to ‘take decisive action’ and ‘work with the incoming government of Haiti and the international community to ensure that the rights and vital needs of IDP communities are addressed in a timely and efficient manner. … In short, an already intolerable situation is about to get worse. Swift, efficient action is needed if we are to avoid another full-fledged humanitarian crisis” (5/17).

IRIN Reports On Temporary, Free Medical Care In Cote d’Ivoire

“Many public hospitals in Cote d’Ivoire are overflowing as people rush to benefit from a brief period of free medical services, announced by the government [in April] as part of the recovery from months of post-election chaos. But the health ministry has been quick to point out that this is a temporary measure and fees will be reinstated at the end of May,” IRIN writes in a story examining reaction to health care in the country.

Chances Of Dying In Natural Disaster Decreasing, Economic Costs Increasing Worldwide, U.N. Report Says

The risk of dying in a natural disaster is decreasing worldwide, but the economic toll weather-related catastrophes inflict is rising “often due to a lack of investment,” according to a new U.N. report released in Geneva on Tuesday, Reuters reports. According to the Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction, “[d]amage to infrastructure – schools, health centers, roads, bridges – is soaring in many low- and middle-income countries despite improvements in many early warning systems,” the news agency writes (Nebehay, 5/10).

U.K. Parliamentary Committee Report Says U.N. Response To Pakistan Floods Was ‘Patchy’

The U.N.’s response to severe flooding in Pakistan was “patchy,” according to a report from the U.K.’s International Development Committee, which also said leadership and humanitarian coordination since the flooding started has been poor, AlertNet reports (Nguyen, 5/10). As of February, about $1.2 billion of the U.N.’s $1.9 billion appeal had been received, according to the report, Reuters writes. Of the money received, only $720 million in aid has been delivered, the report said (5/9).

Recent Releases In Global Health

PEPFAR Annual Meeting: The meeting, taking place in Johannesburg, South Africa, this week, “provides a unique opportunity for us to reflect upon our achievements, work on solutions to solve the latest challenges, and identify the next steps to carry this momentum forward,” and “serves as a testament to the remarkable contributions of…

Health Effects Of Chernobyl Nuclear Crisis Remain Unknown 25 Years After Incident

Though it has been 25 years since a disastrous explosion at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in Ukraine sent radioactive material into the air, affecting Russia, Ukraine and Belarus, as well as the rest of the world, “experts are still debating the long-term health effects of the disaster,” the Los…

Recent Releases In Global Health

Will Health Ministers Come Up With A Solution For Smallpox Virus?: When health ministers gather for the World Health Assembly in May they will try to come up with a solution to “a dilemma that has dogged decision-makers for decades – whether and when to destroy the last remaining stocks of…

Also In Global Health News: Nuclear Accidents; Measles Outbreak In Europe; Funding Shortfall In Zimbabwe; Drinking Water In Pakistan; Agricultural Development In S. Asia

World Must Prepare For More Nuclear Accidents, U.N. Secretary-General Says The world must prepare for more major nuclear accidents, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said on Wednesday at a Kiev conference marking the explosion of a reactor at Ukraine’s Chernobyl nuclear reactor 25 years ago, the Associated Press reports. “To many,…