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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).

Some U.S. Troops Stay In Haiti; Aid Officials Prepare For Rainy Season

Kenneth Merten, the U.S. ambassador to Haiti, said on Thursday that American troops would stay in the country to aid in its recovery, Agence France-Presse reports. “There are about 6,500 soldiers in Haiti at the moment. There were some 20,000 for the emergency effort launched in the wake of January 12,” Merten said. “What is planned for the moment is more and more staff from USAID on the ground and fewer and fewer troops. Gradually, they’ll leave. In my opinion, we will need some American troops to stay here for the foreseeable future” (2/25).

Officials Plan To Clear Debris In Next Phase Of Haiti Relief Effort

Haitian and U.N. officials on Tuesday said they planned this week to begin “decompressing” the capital of Port-au-Prince by removing rubble to make space for people to return to their homes or temporarily resettle, Reuters reports. “The ‘Debris Management Plan’ drawn up by experts from the United Nations, the United States and other countries with Haitian government officials marks the next big push by the international relief operation following major distributions of food, water and shelter materials to earthquake victims,” according to the news service.

Senate Committee Report Addresses U.S. Government Response To Haiti

A Senate Foreign Relations Committee report, written by two Senate staffers, who just returned from Haiti where they assessed relief efforts, draws attention to “immediate shelter and sanitation concerns” and voices “concern about the coordination of Washington’s U.S. government response to Haiti,” Politico’s Laura Rozen writes on her blog. A link to the text of the report appears on Politico’s Web site.

Haitian President Says Up To 300,000 People Could Have Died In Quake

The major earthquake in January in Haiti could have killed as many as 300,000 people, an estimate that includes bodies buried in the rubble, Haitian President Rene Preval said on Sunday at a meeting of Latin American and Caribbean leaders in Mexico, Reuters reports.

Health Worker Training Program Cuts Stillbirths By 30% In 6 Developing Countries, Study Says

The rate of stillbirths was cut by more than 30 percent after health workers in rural parts of six developing countries were trained “in how to help a newborn start breathing and to keep it warm and clean,” according to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, Reuters reports. The trainees – who included midwives, nurses, traditional birth attendants and physicians – were given “hand-held pumps and masks to fill babies’ lungs with air if they were not breathing at birth, clean-delivery kits to prevent infection and scales to measure their weight,” the news service writes.

Media Examine Efforts To Eradicate Guinea Worm

Agence France-Presse examines efforts to eradicate Guinea worm, a “painful water-borne parasite that can leave people weakened and sick for months every year” (2/17).

Senators Durbin, Brown Travel To Africa To Focus On Health, Other Issues

U.S. senators Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) departed Friday “for a trip to Africa,” the Associated Press/Chicago Tribune reports. The Senators “planned to visit Tanzania, Congo, Ethiopia and Sudan. They were expected to return to the United States on Feb. 19” (2/13).

U.S. Decreases Troop Presence In Haiti

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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