Top of the Morning: Bush-Clinton Haiti Fund Closes; Hugo Chavez Names Successor; SADC Plans Congo Intervention

Top stories from the global humanitarian news mobile app and email service, DAWNS Digest

Hugo Chavez Undergoing Cancer Surgery; Names Successor

Venezuelan Vice President Nicolas Maduro was named the successor by President Hugo Chavez who is back in Cuba to receive cancer treatment. “It is the first time Chavez has named a successor, sparking concern that his illness may finally cause him to step aside…According to the Venezuelan constitution, if Chavez steps aside, new elections would have to be called within 30 days…As Reuters points out, a bumpy power transition from the charismatic politician’s highly centralized rule could destabilize Venezuela’s political climate and have far-reaching consequences, as the South American country holds the largest crude oil reserves in the world. (GlobalPost

SADC Pledges 4,000 Troops for East Congo

As peace talks are underway in Kampala, a new stabilization force is being considered for restive eastern Congo. “Southern African nations pledged on Saturday to provide 4,000 troops for a neutral force to be deployed in eastern Congo where rebels have waged an eight month-long rebellion, the South African Development Community (SADC) said. The regional bloc also urged the United Nations to strengthen the mandate of the U.N. peacekeeping force that was forced to give up defending the city of Goma last month when Congolese troops fled from advancing M23 rebels.” (AlertNet

Clinton-Bush Haiti Fund Closes

The Clinton Bush Haiti Fund will cease operations at the end of the year after having spent all of the $54.4 million raised in the wake of the Haitian earthquake to support job creation in the country. “On its website, the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund said it created or sustained up to 7,350 jobs and trained as many as 20,050 people. Still, the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund prompted some Haiti observers to wonder why the country needed another international agency to focus on developing private businesses instead of on brick-and-mortar reconstruction or agricultural projects.” (AP