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Quake, Tsunami Transform Japan Into Major Aid Recipient

“Until a few months ago Japan was the world’s fifth biggest aid donor, according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), lending or giving away $9.5bn a year,” the Guardian reports. But the recent earthquake and tsunami have transformed the country “into a leading destination for international charity. In two months it has received what the Democratic Republic of the Congo is given in a year,” according to the article.

Supreme Court Of Canada Opens Hearings On Safe Drug Injection Facility

The Supreme Court of Canada on Thursday began hearing the Canadian government’s case against Insite, a Vancouver-based legal injection site where people who use injecting drugs can obtain clean needles and syringes and inject their own drugs under a nurse’s supervision, the Canadian Press reports (5/12).

Republicans Criticize USAID’s Work In Haiti During Hill Hearing

Republicans criticized USAID’s work in Haiti during a House subcommittee on foreign affairs hearing on Wednesday, citing findings from inspector general reports about U.S. aid to the country after the January 2010 earthquake, the Associated Press reports (5/11).

Recent Releases In Global Health

Russian AIDS Project: A UNAIDS article reports on the AIDS Competence project in Russia, which aims “to mobilize local responses to AIDS by promoting awareness within communities of their own strengths and capacities and facilitating the exchange of experiences within the communities” (5/10). Global Health Framework Agreement Needed: A PLoS…

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).

Washington Post Examines Iraq’s Baghdad Hospital

In an article looking at Baghdad Hospital, the Washington Post reports that “[i]t is difficult to overstate how far [the hospital] has come since the worst days of the war, when supplies were so scarce that doctors sometimes performed open heart surgery without gloves. … Arriving at work was a small miracle: The hospital has lost at least 40 doctors to assassins since 2004 – they are still occasionally targeted – and their photos stare down from walls.”