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Donors Pledge $5.3B Over 18 Months To Help Rebuild Haiti

Donors at a conference Wednesday pledged to provide Haiti with $5.3 billion over the next 18 months to help the country rebuild after the January earthquake, the Wall Street Journal reports (Rhoads/Lauria, 3/31).

Opinion: Job Development For Haiti; NTDs In Africa; U.S. Investment In TB

Jobs-Drive Development For Haiti “Even before the earthquake, the Haitian economy was already on shaky ground. There is 70 to 80 percent unemployment in the formal economy. … U.S. policy helped build this disastrous economy,” AFL-CIO Executive Vice President Arlene Holt Baker writes in a Miami Herald opinion piece. Baker says…

Newsweek Examines Challenges Associated With U.S. Food Aid Program

Newsweek examines how the U.S. farm bill influences food aid by tracking the efforts of U.S. entrepreneur Navyn Salem as she worked to launch a nonprofit capable of providing ready-to-use therapeutic (RUTF) food aid known as Plumpy’nut – “a squeezable package of fortified peanut-butter-based paste… used to feed severely malnourished children and pregnant or lactating women” to NGOs that contract with USAID.

Stakeholders, Experts Meet To Develop Agriculture Reform Roadmap

Experts meeting in Montpellier, France for the Global Conference on Agricultural Research for Development (GCARD) are calling for restructuring agriculture “to focus as much on new seed varieties as on good governance, women’s empowerment and things like curbing commodities speculation,” Reuters/Independent Online reports. According to the news service, the conference aims to formulate “a road map to reform agricultural research to meet development goals” (Goering, 3/31). VOA News reports that the plan will be presented to G8 leaders (DeCapua, 3/29).

U.N. Releases Report On Poverty In Afghanistan

A new U.N. report (.pdf) finds that “the majority of Afghans live in dire poverty, despite an estimated $35 billion in aid being poured into the country between 2002 to 2009,” the Associated Press reports.

Family Planning, Access To Safe, Legal Abortion Key To Maternal, Child Health, U.S. Sec. Of State Says

Following a two-day meeting of foreign ministers from G8 countries in Quebec on Tuesday, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton “appeared at odds… with [Canadian] Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s G8 initiative on maternal and child health, saying family planning, contraception and access to legal, safe abortions were vital elements of maternal health care,” Canwest News Service/Ottawa Citizen report (O’Neill, 3/31).

U.S. Lays Out Goals For Role In Haiti Recovery

As donors from more than 100 countries gather at the U.N. in New York Wednesday to discuss the rebuilding of earthquake-ravaged Haiti, Cheryl Mills, an advisor to Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, said that the U.S. “will be focusing on agriculture, energy, health and security. Also (on) support to the government in holding elections,” Agence France-Presse reports (3/30).

Opinions: Haiti Relief And Recovery; Tuberculosis Control

Ahead of a U.N. donors conference focusing on Haiti tomorrow, several editorials and opinion pieces address the country’s needs for relief and recovery. This week’s donor conference is “a tangible expression of solidarity with the Haitian government and its people,” U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon writes in a Washington Post editorial.…