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Health In Emergency Situations/Humanitarian Assistance

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3 Years After Devastating Earthquake, Haiti Remains In Fragile State

“On the eve of the third anniversary of the earthquake that devastated Haiti in January 2010, the country remains in a fragile state,” a New York Times editorial states. “Billions of dollars in aid and lofty promises to ‘build back better’ have brought it only so far,” but “[a] recent article by Deborah Sontag of the Times showed, in disheartening detail, the distance between hope and reality,” the editorial continues, and recounts a number of challenges highlighted in the article, such as a slowing of flood aid and “the tendency of humanitarian aid organizations to go back to what they had been doing before the earthquake, in areas like sanitation, health, education and transportation.”

U.N., U.S. Offer Aid To Iran, Pakistan In Wake Of 7.8-Magnitude Earthquake

A 7.8-magnitude earthquake hit the remote south-east Iran-Pakistan border on Tuesday, with tremors felt across Pakistan, India and the Middle East, BBC News reports (4/16). “According to media reports dozens of people were killed in both countries when the quake struck the border region,” and U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon “[v]oic[ed] sorrow over…

Millions Of People In Sahel Continue To Need Food Assistance, Oxfam Report Says

“The humanitarian response to the 2012 food crisis in Africa’s Sahel region was bigger and better than in previous emergencies, but millions of people still did not receive the assistance they needed and many remain vulnerable to hunger, Oxfam said in a report on Tuesday,” AlertNet reports. “The report said that more than five million…

Increase In Violence Hindering Access To Health Care In Afghanistan, Red Cross Warns

“An increase in armed groups and the splintering of insurgent factions is cutting Afghans off from health care in ever greater numbers, the Red Cross has warned,”The Guardian reports. “Roadblocks, roadside bombs, the risk of being caught up in fighting and unprovoked attacks are all stopping civilians from getting to hospitals,…

Obama Right To Propose Food Aid Reform

In the six decades since [President Dwight Eisenhower kicked off the program that would become known as Food for Peace], global food aid has generated sales for U.S. farmers, business for U.S.-flagged cargo vessels and jobs for U.S. seamen,” a Washington Post editorial states. “In this sense, the United States is no…

Food Aid Reform Is ‘Battle Worth Fighting’

“The Obama Administration, like the Bush Administration before it, is again trying to bring some sense to food aid, but prospects for reform are low,” Isobel Coleman, a senior fellow for U.S. Foreign Policy and director of the Civil Society, Markets, and Democracy Initiative at the Council on Foreign Relations,…

Balanced Approach Needed To Fight Cholera Outbreaks In Haiti

Jason Nickerson, a respiratory therapist and doctoral candidate in Population Health at the University of Ottawa, in this Global Health Hub post, recounts recent controversy surrounding “the health and humanitarian response to the earthquake and cholera outbreaks” in Haiti, noting tension “between the provision of [a cholera] vaccine as opposed to spending…

5M Pakistanis Affected By Flooding Need Humanitarian Assistance, U.N. Agencies Say

“United Nations aid agencies said Friday more than five million Pakistanis are in need of humanitarian assistance following the floods earlier this year,” with nearly half of those being children, the VOA “Breaking News” blog reports (11/26). “UNICEF spokesperson Marixie Mercado said the most urgent risks to children are those related to safe water and malnutrition, with malnutrition rates in the affected areas already found to be high before the floods began,” according to the U.N. News Centre (11/25).

Kenyans Affected By Flooding In Need Of Humanitarian, Medical Aid

Heavy rains and flooding in Kenya, which have affected more than 40,000 people and caused at least a dozen deaths, are “complicating efforts to reach thousands of people made homeless by the flooding, an official of the Kenya Red Cross Society (KRCS) told IRIN.” Nelly Muluka, KRCS public relations and communications officer, said on Monday that in some areas “there is the danger of waterborne diseases breaking out after latrines and boreholes were submerged and in other areas, water pipelines have burst,” according to IRIN. The Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR) said those affected by flooding “urgently require relief aid such as food, mosquito nets, tents, blankets, cooking utensils and medicine,” the news service writes, adding, “Teams comprising government, KRCS and U.N. officials are involved in rapid assessments of the flooding situation, a humanitarian official, who requested anonymity, told IRIN” (12/6).

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