Water has been identified as a top priority for aid to Haiti as it struggles to recover. The consequences of not having access to water extend beyond dehydration. Thirst drives people to water sources they would not have considered before - sources contaminated with human waste, garbage, and industrial byproducts. Using this water leads to diseases like cholera and dysentery, which spread rapidly through communities.
As our white Toyota land cruiser drove on the freshly laid road from the market town of Akon towards Ariang village, we noticed something far on the horizon. Maybe…cows? Trees in the distance?
As we got closer, we saw it was a huge crowd of people. It was difficult to ascertain just how many with the dust cloud they were kicking up, their feet (either bare or shod in plastic sandals) pounding the red-dirt road as they ran, singing and dancing, toward our vehicle.
In late December, I received a New Year's e-mail from a former Iranian diplomat. The contact surprised me. I had known the man when I lived in Tehran from 2004 to '07, but I hadn't heard from him in more than two years. In 2007, as the Ahmadinejad administration began tarring its ideological enemies as foreign stooges, he cut relations with me.
In my reporting, I often hear that the major threat to India's security is the unevenness of its development.
This past week, with international focus centered on Haiti, the Pulitzer Center has joined in the global dialogue by drawing attention to the systemic crises that existed in the country before the Jan. 12 earthquake.
We aim to raise awareness of the other issues facing the people affected by this disaster. Our grantees have captured the deplorable conditions of Haiti's national penitentiary, which was among the buildings destroyed by the earthquake, and explored the lives of the child slaves who comprise nearly ten percent of Haiti's youth population.
A frantic voice came over the radio: a blast had just destroyed Guinea-Bissau's military headquarters. I drove toward the compound and, when I arrived, everyone was still shouting and running through the smoking ruins of the building. Bissau's only ambulance was shuttling back and forth from the hospital, ferrying the bodies of victims. All that four heavily armed soldiers would tell me was that General Batista Tagme Na Wai, head of the army, had just been assassinated.
As we sped through the dusty heat of rural Somaliland on one of the region's few paved roads, an armed escort behind us and the hills of Ethiopia ahead, Dr. Adan Abokor told me his story. Abokor is sixty-two years old with thinning, gray hair, and his steady, measured voice can mask his emotions, but his energy is undiminished, and his memories of 1982 are still raw. "I was a member of the Hargeisa Group," he began.
This week's devastating earthquake in Haiti draws international attention to a nation continuously plagued by social and economic woes, covered thoroughly in a piece by The Guardian's Caroline Saunders. Pulitzer grantees Dane Liu and Carmen Russell produced a short documentary, "Restaveks: Child Slaves of Haiti," featured on Foreign Exchange. View their work below and hear Russell's take on the current state of the country.
SANA'A, Yemen (Jan. 14) – As the Yemeni government steps up its fight against al-Qaida, its task is complicated by the militant group's longstanding, familial and often intimate relationship with Yemeni tribes.
"You cannot have a conversation about al-Qaida in Yemen without having a conversation about the tribes. It's a natural alliance," said Abdulelah Hider Shaea, a journalist with sources in al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula. "Both tribes and al-Qaida are socially and morally conservative, both like to acquire weapons and both are at odds with the formal authority."
Even with near-daily terrorist attacks claiming 2,000 civilian lives last year and the frontier war against radicals taking an additional 1,000, most Pakistanis are not focused on the jihadis. Rather, the underlying cause of their upheaval "is a crisis of governance," says former commerce minister Zubair Khan.
In response to my article on Afghanistan in the Boston Review, several members of the Illinois State National Guard with whom I traveled in Helmand last summer expressed disappointment and even a sense of betrayal. I was surprised because I tried to be as sympathetic as possible, and show their decency and humanity, as I do with all people I write about. Perhaps they mistook a criticism of their mission or the strategy with a criticism of them personally.