One Year Later

January 12, 2011 By Melissa Silverman

Today marks the one-year anniversary of the massive earthquake that struck Haiti on January 12, 2009. Over 200,000 people were killed and up to a million more left homeless and the U.S. mounted a significant relief effort led by USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah with both civilian and military components. As Haiti still struggles to rebuild, key U.S. leaders, including Former President Bill Clinton and new House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, have travelled to the country to mark the anniversary. In a statement, Secretary of State Clinton said “The United States continues to work with the Haitian people along with our international partners and non-governmental organizations to help catalyze Haiti’s renewal.”  For more on the U.S. relief efforts in Haiti, please click here.


Who’s In the News

World leaders converge on Washington for Holbrooke memorial (Josh Rogin, the Cable blog)

On Friday, hundreds of friends and colleagues of the recently departed Richard Holbrooke will convene to honor his career and his legacy at the Kennedy Center in Washington for an event that, just as Holbrooke was, promises to be larger than life.

Clinton Addresses Terrorism and Politics in Yemen (Mark Landler, New York Times)

The Obama administration wants to help Yemen do more than hunt down Islamic terrorists, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton told this fragile Arab country on Tuesday as she sought to broaden a relationship almost wholly defined by American concerns that Yemen is a staging ground for plots against the United States.

Op-Ed: Breaking the cycle of dependence in Haiti (Ray Offenheiser, The Hill)

Haiti is exhibit A for everything that is wrong with the old model of development, which is precisely why it deserves the investment and effort required to be a model of this new approach to fighting poverty. The new approach will not offer assistance in perpetuity, but instead support the creation of institutions and conditions that get to the causes of the poverty rather than just slapping on temporary band-aids.

Smart Power

Haiti Aid Groups Criticized As Money Sits Unspent (Carrie Kahn,NPR)

But one year later, much of that money remains unspent, and criticism is mounting that the international aid response has not moved fast enough to alleviate the suffering of the earthquake survivors.

The Obama staff shuffle kicks into high gear (Al Kamen, Washington Post)

Secretary Clinton has called all ambassadors and charges d’affaires to Washington at the end of the month for a meeting on the Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review (QDDR).

Politics/Foreign Policy

In Kabul, Biden promises U.S. support beyond 2014 (Joshua Partlow and Pamela Constable, Washington Post)Vice President Biden on Tuesday pledged long-term American support for Afghanistan, offering a commitment to help the war-torn nation beyond the 2014 target both countries have set to have Afghans fully in charge of their own security.

The Great Food Crisis of 2011 (Lester Brown, Foreign Policy)

The unrest of these past few weeks is just the beginning. It is no longer conflict between heavily armed superpowers, but rather spreading food shortages and rising food prices — and the political turmoil this would lead to — that threatens our global future.