Top of the Morning: Sandy Leaves 1 Million Food Insecure in Haiti; World Bank Approves New Loan Package for Myanmar

Top stories from DAWNS Digest, a global news clips service.

Sandy’s Wake: 1 Million People Face Food Insecurity in Haiti

The world’s attention is mostly focused on the situation in the USA, but Haiti is facing a very profound crisis. “A senior United Nations humanitarian official said today that over a million people in Haiti are facing food insecurity as a result of the devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy, which ploughed through the Caribbean nation before wreaking havoc along the east coast of the United States earlier this week. The head of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs’ (OCHA) operation in Haiti, Johan Peleman, said that relief workers are still consolidating data of the destruction caused by the storm and a full picture of the situation will take some time. Meanwhile, he noted, between 15,000 and 20,000 people have seen their houses completely destroyed, damaged or flooded as a result of the storm.” (UN

World Bank Approves New Loan Package for Myanmar

The rapid economic opening of Myanmar continues apace. On top of the money described below, the bank also has another $165 million earmarked for projects in Myanmar. “Activists remain concerned that as international economic sanctions on aid, trade and investment are eased, the military and its cronies will be first to benefit from the influx of foreign funds. The bank approved Thursday an $80 million project to provide $25,000 grants to villages in 15 townships across the country, where community councils will identify the kind of help they want, such as roads, bridges, irrigation systems, schools, health clinics or rural markets.”  (WaPo )

Former Head of DfID to Be Grilled By Parliament Over Decision to Restore Aid to Rwanda

The previous head of the UK’s development agency, who resigned after an unrelated public relations flap, is under fire for approving an aid package to Rwanda on his last days in office. “Mitchell is scheduled to give evidence on 8 November to the international development committee, which is investigating the decision by the Department for International Development to grant £16m in aid to the Rwandan government. DFID made the decision despite allegations about Rwanda’s role in the conflict in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, and the decision of other donors who withdrew budget support not to reinstate it…The UK, Rwanda’s biggest bilateral donor, is now under pressure to halt the aid, after one of Kagame’s allies was named in a leaked report as the de facto leader of a violent uprising in the DRC. UN experts identified General James Kabarebe, the Rwandan defence minister, as effectively directing a Congolese rebel militia accused of killings, rapes and other atrocities.” (Guardian