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U.N. Aid Efforts Lack Coordination With Local Groups In Haiti, Report Says

A Refugees International report, released on Tuesday, says U.N. aid efforts in Haiti since the earthquake have not been sufficiently coordinated with local groups, the New York Times reports. Among other things, the lack of coordinated response has enabled sexual abuse of women and girls in temporary camps, according to Emilie Parry, an aid consultant who helped write the report. She said some young girls have been trading sex for shelter and noted that there is no night watch system in the camps, which are housing many of Haiti’s homeless earthquake survivors, according to the newspaper.

Former Presidents Bush, Clinton Visit Haiti To Highlight Need For Aid

Former U.S. presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton are visiting Haiti on Monday “to spotlight the dramatic need ahead of a critical March 31 U.N. donors conference in New York, where Haitian officials will ask for $11.5 billion in reconstruction help,” the Associated Press/New York Times reports. “It is the first joint visit to the impoverished Caribbean nation for the two former leaders, who were tasked by President Barack Obama with leading the U.S. fundraising effort” after the January 12 earthquake according to the news service.

U.N. Secretary-General Launches Report Aimed At Meeting MDGs By 2015

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon “warned on Tuesday that failure to meet” Millennium Development Goal (MDG) targets by the 2015 deadline could result in “increased instability, violence, epidemic diseases and overpopulation,” Agence France-Presse/Mail & Guardian reports (3/17).

Haitian President To Meet With Obama As Long-Term Rebuilding Plans Take Shape

Haitian President Rene Preval is expected to meet with President Barack Obama Wednesday in the U.S. to ask for “billions of dollars to rebuild” Haiti, Agence France-Presse reports. The White House said that Obama will emphasize that the U.S. is a “friend and partner” to Haiti and discuss ways the international community could aid Haiti (Burleigh, 3/7).

Opinions: U.S. Foreign Aid Effectiveness; Faith-Based Groups’ Work Abroad

Foreign Aid Is A Smart Investment Although “foreign assistance is a very small proportion of the overall budget, its effectiveness is both measurable and priceless,” Sheila Nix, the executive director of ONE, writes in a Roll Call opinion piece. “These investments are helping shape a world where no one dies…

Media Outlets Interview Shah During Life Sciences Conference In Seattle

USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah was in Seattle on Tuesday to speak at the annual Life Science Innovation Northwest conference, the Seattle Times’ blog, “The Business of Giving,” reports. The blog outlines the Obama administration’s global health and development goals, including the six-year $63 billion Global Health Initiative (GHI), as well as some of the challenges facing Shah at USAID.

FDA Drafts New Rules For Testing, Approving Drug Cocktails; Public-Private Partnership For TB Treatment Development Launched

The FDA is drafting new guidelines for testing and approving multidrug cocktails for life-threatening diseases, the Wall Street Journal reports. “Many diseases, such as AIDS, tuberculosis and cancer, require multidrug combinations. Such drug cocktails can prevent the development of drug resistance, because the microbe or cancer cell needs to undergo more mutations to escape several drugs than to escape just one. By attacking the disease in different ways, drug combinations also improve the chances of therapeutic benefit,” the newspaper reports (Schoofs, 3/18).

As Rainy Season Begins, U.N. Special Envoy Clinton Asks For More Shelter, Latrines For Haitian Earthquake Survivors

During a phone call on Monday, Bill Clinton, the U.N. special envoy for Haiti, asked U.N. officials to provide more tents, latrines and hurricane-proof shelter to improve housing and sanitation for Haitian earthquake survivors living in temporary camps, the Associated Press writes. According to Clinton, the needs of many people who survived the earthquake are not being met.
Clinton “also called for strengthening job and agricultural programs. The U.N. says 520,000 people have received emergency shelter but even more still need help,” the AP reports (3/2).

GAVI Calls Meeting With Existing, Potential Donors

The GAVI Alliance has “asked existing and potential donors to a meeting in The Hague on March 25 and 26 to challenge them to ‘make a strong impact’ on childhood death rates,” Reuters reports. “GAVI, which is supported by the World Health Organization, the World Bank, UNICEF, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and vaccine makers, says it has 40 percent of the $7 billion it needs between now and 2015 to help” immunize of millions of children in developing countries by 2015, according to the news service.

With full funding GAVI “will be able to fully roll out pentavalent vaccine” – which protects against hepatitis B, diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough and Hib – “and introduce new vaccines against pneumococcal disease and rotavirus diarrhea in over 40 countries,’ [GAVI] said in a statement. ‘These last two vaccines alone can save one million children by 2015,'” reports Reuters.

“Britain last week pledged 150 million pounds over the next 10 years for GAVI’s core funding, a move the group’s deputy chief executive Helen Evans said she hoped others would follow,” Reuters writes. “This is the first sovereign donor to have made a 10-year commitment to GAVI, and that really helps because it builds predictability into funding … and actually helps to shape the market for vaccines,” Evans said (Kelland, 3/15).