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Tuesday, August 17, 2010

  • UN Humanitarian Chief John Holmes: The Magnitude of the Pakistan Floods Is Unprecedented

    Pakistan-aerial

    The United Nations is warning millions of Pakistanis are at risk of deadly waterborne diseases more than two weeks since Pakistan’s worst-ever flooding began. The World Health Organization says around six million people — over half of them children — face the threat of cholera and dysentery, as well as typhoid and hepatitis. The flooding has killed over 1,600 people and displaced 20 million — nearly 12 percent of Pakistan’s population. We speak to UN Humanitarian Chief John Holmes and Pakistani analyst Mosharraf Zaidi. [includes rush transcript]

  • Thousands of Haitians Face Risk of Forcible Evictions from Temporary Camps

    Haiti-camp

    It’s been over seven months since Haiti’s devastating earthquake left up to 300,000 dead and displaced over 1.5 million. Only a small fraction of the displaced have found new homes, and those who’ve found shelter in temporary camps now face a new round of displacement. According to Haitian community groups, thousands of Haitians are at risk of forcible eviction from some of the 1,300 camps established since the quake. The evictions come at a time when reports show a rising number of rapes and sexual abuse in the aftermath of the quake, especially in the camps for the internally displaced. [includes rush transcript]

  • France Urged to Pay $40 Billion to Haiti in Reparations for "Independence Debt"

    Haiti-colonial-map

    According to the UN-sponsored Haiti Reconstruction Fund, only two countries — Brazil and Estonia — have fully paid the pledged amount. The United States, France, Canada and many others have failed to send their pledged aid. A recent review by CNN found that just two percent of total pledges have been delivered to Haiti. Calls are now growing for another form of payment to Haiti: reparations. This week, a group of prominent academics and activists published an open letter calling on France to repay an "independence debt" it imposed nearly 200 years ago after Haiti successfully won independence from France. Haiti was forced to pay France around 90 million gold francs up until World War II, which after interest and inflation is valued today at up to $40 billion. [includes rush transcript]