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Opinions On Rebuilding Haiti: Role Of U.S., Good Governance Efforts, Orphans, Poverty

U.S. Must Continue To Support Haiti’s Vision For ‘Reconfiguration’ In McClatchy opinion piece, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) discusses her recent trip to Haiti and outlines the U.S. role in the country’s rebuilding. “Congress is committed to helping Haiti recover from this tragedy. Congress has not only taken action to…

Joint Chiefs Of Staff Chair Calls For More Emphasis On Diplomacy, ‘Soft Power’ In U.S. Foreign Policy

U.S. foreign policy should rely more on diplomacy and “soft power,” Admiral Mike Mullen, chair of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, said in a speech at Kansas State University on Wednesday, Agence France-Presse reports. “U.S. foreign policy is still too dominated by the military – too dependent upon the generals and admirals who lead our major overseas commands and not enough on the State Department,” Mullen said, the AFP reports.

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.

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).

Two-Week U.N. Meeting On Gender Equality Kicks Off Monday

Ahead of the two-week U.N. Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), which kicks off Monday in New York, Inter Press Service features a Q&A with Thoraya Ahmed Obaid, executive director of the U.N. Population Fund (UNFPA), who highlights some of the goals of the meeting. As part of CSW, world leaders are expected to discuss gender equality in the context of the implementation of the 1995 Beijing Platform for Action, the 1994 Program of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) and the U.N.’s Millennium Development Goals (MDG).

Massive Earthquake Hits Chile

“Shell-shocked Chileans struggled to deal with the aftermath of a massive 8.8-magnitude earthquake that ripped through the southern half of the country early Saturday morning,” the Wall Street Journal reports. The quake damaged roads, buildings, telecommunication services, and cut power. “At least ten aftershocks hit the region in the hours after the initial quake – felt 2,000 miles away in Sao Paulo, Brazil – and waves that swelled more than six feet above their normal height battered the country’s long coastline, according to the U.S. Geological Survey,” according to the newspaper (Fick et al., 2/28).

WHO Director-General Calls For Greater Efforts To Reduce Tobacco Use

In a speech on Friday marking the fifth anniversary of an international tobacco control treaty, WHO Director-General Margaret Chan called for government officials worldwide to increase efforts to protect their population from the harmful effects of tobacco, Reuters reports. “Tobacco kills more than 5 million people a year from cardiovascular disease, cancers, diabetes and other chronic illnesses, including about 600,000 from second-hand smoke, according to the United Nations agency,” the news service writes.

News Outlets Examine Development Of Low-Cost Diagnostic Tool, Infectious Disease Surveillance

CNN examines the work of a Harvard University chemistry professor to “shrink a medical laboratory onto a piece of paper that’s the size of a fingerprint and costs about a penny.” According to George Whitesides, who created a prototype of the inexpensive paper “chip,” the technology could be used to diagnose such diseases as HIV, malaria and tuberculosis in developing countries.

BBC Examines Global Efforts To Empower Women

The BBC examines the recent efforts by microfinance institutions (MFIs) to “provide a credit lifeline to millions of deprived people in some of the poorest countries of the world,” especially women. The piece describes the work of the non-profit Women’s World Banking (WWB), which, together with several MFIs focusing on women, is holding workshops across South Asia.