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    Clean-Burning Cookstoves for Developing Countries

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    A letter from executive director, Sarah Costa, on clean-burning cook stoves is in today's online edition of the New York Times. Read the letter below.

    To the Editor:

    Re “Developing Nations to Get Clean-Burning Cookstoves” (news article, Sept. 21):

    It is great news that the United States will provide $50 million to help provide clean-burning cookstoves for villages in Asia, Africa and South America. In addition to the appalling health risks (1.9 million deaths a year due to inhaling smoke from open fires) and the environmental devastation caused by cutting down trees for fuel, women and girls risk rape and sexual violence when they gather wood to cook or sell.

    This is particularly true in refugee camps and other displaced settings, where fuel is typically not provided to cook the food that displaced people receive.

    In addition, girls may miss out on education opportunities as they spend hours each day foraging for cooking fuel or stay at home to watch younger siblings as their mothers collect firewood.

    It is essential that the clean-burning stove initiative — both the provision of stoves and the development of local stove-making businesses — reaches humanitarian settings, as it will enhance the protection of refugee women and girls immeasurably.

    Sarah Costa
    New York, Sept. 21, 2010

    Find the full article, posted on the online edition of the New York Times here.

    Struggling to Make a Living in Ethiopia: Surviving in the Informal Economy

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    Food is scarce in Ethiopia, where most of the population lives in rural, drought-prone areas in a state of chronic poverty. In 2010, the Government of Ethiopia identified 5.2 million people in need of emergency food aid. Not surprisingly, this hunger crisis also impacts the thousands of refugees living just within Ethiopia's borders.

    Read more: Struggling to Make a Living in Ethiopia: Surviving in the Informal Economy

    Building Back a Better Haiti: The Need for Cooking Fuel

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    The names in this post have been changed to protect their privacy.

    The morning I met Nadine in her new "home" in a former park in the middle of the Peacutetionville neighborhood in Port-au-Prince, it had been raining -- the first rain since the earthquake. The ground was muddy and slick, and her shelter did not have a floor. She and her family slept on cardboard boxes on the dirt. The shelter did, however, have walls and a roof of bed sheets and some plastic sheeting. A rudimentary charcoal stove was set up just outside, where a small pot of rice was cooking for the day's meal for her family of five.

    Read more: Building Back a Better Haiti: The Need for Cooking Fuel

    JORDAN: Where Iraqi Women Are Also Fathers

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    A report put out by the Women’s Refugee Commission in December 2009 affirms that the vast majority of Iraqis in Jordan cannot lawfully work and have few sources of sustainable income. Read more

    Watch Us On NY1's "Women Helping Women" Series

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    As NY1 continues its coverage of Women's History Month, the station profiles an organization that works to address the specific needs of refugee women and children, who make up about 80 percent of refugees worldwide. NY1's Shazia Khan filed the following report. Watch the video here

    Haiti: Remembering the Needs of People with Disabilities

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    Director of protection, Dale Buscher, discusses the urgent need to include people with disabilities in Haiti's emergency response and reconstruction efforts in an article on Huffington Post.

    Haiti 'orphan' rescue mission: Adoption or child trafficking?

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    This weekend's arrest of 10 members of an Idaho-based Baptist charity for trying to take 33 Haitian children across the border with the Dominican Republic without proper paperwork has become an international incident. Read more

    Haiti: Women and Girls at Risk

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    Executive Director, Carolyn Makinson talks about Haiti and the risks faced by women and girls in an article on Huffington Post.

    Haiti Adoptions

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    CNN quotes Women's Refugee Commission on reuniting children with their families in Haiti. Read more.

    Liv Ullmann taking on role of a teacher

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    The Miami Herald interviews Liv Ullmann, cofounder and honorary chair of the Women's Refugee Commission. Read the article in The Miami Herald (this link no longer exists).

    Liv Ullmann featured in New Yorker Talk of the Town

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    The New Yorker has a story on Women's Refugee Commission cofounder and honorary chair Liv Ullmann and her involvement in refugee issues. Read the article in The New Yorker.