Haiti: Haiti's non-governmental organizations fill in for shattered government
In the first of two reports from Haiti, Dave Iverson of KQED in San Francisco describes Haiti's struggle to rebuild after the earthquake and the crucial role of non-government organizations in the relief effort. Listen: http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/latin_america/jan-june10/haiti_05-13.html (Editor's note: interview includes Mercy Corps Haiti Country Director Bill Holbrook.)
India: The secret lives of Kashmir's beekeepers
SRINAGAR, INDIA—When Afroza Qadir meets with friends, she's quick to talk about her part-time job as a dressmaker and catch up on day-to-day life in the seductive but tortured region of Kashmir. But when the 23-year-old is asked how she spends her free time these days, Qadir clams up. She says it's not cool to discuss her dreams of becoming a beekeeper. “Maybe when I'm making money then I will talk about it,” Qadir says, adjusting her black hijab and a mustard-coloured scarf for a photo.
Quake exacts a psychic toll
At a makeshift clinic across from a sprawling tent camp here in the capital, earthquake victims lined up on a recent day, seeking care. But many weren't looking for help for physical wounds. "Most people are asking to see the psychiatrist," said Claire Gutierrez, a nurse working at the site set up by medical-aid organization Doctors Without Borders. Haiti is a a nation of shell-shocked people, haunted by the sights, sounds, and smells from the Jan. 12 quake. ...
Haiti: Haiti now also running low on world attention
Getting a little behind on the spring landscaping? “When I look out the window,” says Bill Holbrook, “I see millions of metric tons of rubble.” And that’s progress.
Indonesia: Hot humanitarian: Chris Lin
Food carts selling gourmet goodies like crème brulee are all the rage in the States. But in the slums of Jakarta, Indonesia, they've long been a popular way to eat on the go. Though the streets of Jakarta are awash in cheap eats, the meals are often lacking in nutrition. Mercy Corps Indonesia recently rolled out food carts stocked with healthy food and gussied up pro bono by the ad firm Saatchi & Saatchi in hopes of reaching hundreds of thousands of undernourished kids.
Haiti: Why we should give more
Today in New York, donors will be asked to provide $11.5 billion to help Haiti recover from the devastating Jan. 12 earthquake. Since the U.S. government has already provided more than $700 million in assistance - a number that will likely rise - some might ask: Why should we give more? To these skeptics, I have two responses. First, more is getting done than you think. And second, more needs to be done than you can imagine.
Haiti: Post quake, people begin returning to Haiti's capital
For years, Haitian governments have paid lip service to the need to decentralize their country. Port-au-Prince tripled in size over the past three decades, as people flocked to the capital in search of jobs in the hemisphere's poorest country. The metro area reached well over 2 million people before the Jan. 12 earthquake. After the quake, more than half a million fled to other parts of the country, and the government vowed to take the opportunity to shrink the city to a more manageable size.
Haiti: Two months after the quake, many Haitians still wonder where they will live
More than 4,000 earthquake survivors packed into a soccer field had little food and access to a handful of toilets. But in a visit to this camp, in a country that has suffered often under autocratic and corrupt leadership, I found an intriguing experiment in grass-roots governance. Some residents conduct security patrols. Some clean up trash, while others try to ensure the aid is distributed fairly.
Three proven steps to advance the world’s women, on International Women’s Day
Today is International Women’s Day, and in fact the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day. It’s a date that is much better known abroad but is beginning to get more traction in the U.S. as well. So what interventions get the most bang for the buck in raising the status of women around the world? What is most helpful in overcoming injustices such as human trafficking and acid attacks? I’d welcome your ideas below, but let me toss out a few of my suggestions for most effective interventions:
Mercy Corps partners with agency in Chile to provide 'comfort kits' for traumatized kids
Portland-based Mercy Corps is partnering with a Chilean health organization to provide traumatized children on the still-shaking ground with "comfort kits" to help them cope with disaster-related trauma. The 8.8-magnitude earthquake that hit Chile on Saturday killed more than 800, caused significant damage to Concepción and the capital Santiago and affected upward of 2 million Chileans.