The U.N. on Thursday launched its “largest appeal following a natural disaster,” calling for $1.4 billion “to provide food, water, shelter and sanitation to 3 million Haitians throughout 2010,” Bloomberg/BusinessWeek reports (Varner, 2/18).
Programs, Funding & Financing
There is a $21 billion shortfall between aid promised in 2005 by some of the world’s richest countries and actual payments, according to an Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) report, released on Wednesday, Reuters reports (Buffery, 2/17).
On Wednesday, the WHO “urged medical aid agencies to stay in Haiti as long as possible while health care is rebuilt following last month’s devastating earthquake,” Agence France-Presse reports. Henriette Chamouillet, the WHO’s representative in Haiti, said the agency would like its largest partners to continue aid for “at least six months” and that it would take several months for hospitals with the least amount of damage to open. She said, “It’s absolutely necessary because we have to replace the hospitals which won’t work” (2/17).
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While approximately 17 million Asians fell into “extreme poverty” due to the global economic situation in 2009, another four million in the region “could this year slip into the same situation due to the effects of the slump,” according to a report released by representatives from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the U.N. Development Programme (UNDP) in Manlia on Wednesday, Agence-France Presse reports.
The total cost of the destruction in Haiti, resulting from the major earthquake last month, could add up to twice the value of the country’s annual economy, a three Inter-American Development Bank (IADB) economists said in a report on Tuesday, the Associated Press reports.
A decreased need for troops has led the U.S. military to reduce its troops from a high of about 20,000 after the earthquake to 13,000, General Douglas Fraser said on Saturday, Agence France-Presse reports. Fraser also said the Haitian government was resuming control of the Port-au-Prince airport during daylight, according to the AFP.
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Humanitarian Groups Express Concern That Haiti Funding Might Affect Efforts In Other Crisis Countries
A coalition of more than 150 humanitarian groups expressed “concern” in a letter Thursday that more than half of the U.S. government’s disaster-assistance program budget has been pledged to help Haiti, which they say could mean cuts for aid to countries such as Sudan or Somalia, the Washington Post reports.