Photo: AFP/GETTY


The BBC has published an article detailing new findings on Hurricane Maria’s death toll in Puerto Rico. While the official number is 64, a new Harvard University study estimates that the actual death toll is more than 4,600. Broken roads and extensive power outages interrupted medical care, contributing to a third of deaths after the hurricane. Six months after the storm, thousands of Puerto Ricans are still without electricity, and many are struggling to pay for expensive generators that run vital life support equipment.

Disruption to health care was a “growing contributor to both morbidity and...

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Yasmin Morales Torres standing in what was left of a relative’s home in Yabucoa. In the storms’ devastation, the island all but slipped from the modern era. (Photo: Todd Heisler)


The New York Times published an article by James Glanz and Frances Robles. The article details how Hurricane Maria, the decisions of federal and local authorities, and the poorly maintained power grid have left many Puerto Ricans still in the dark. The lack of resources and the difficult terrain have also contributed to the delay in restoring electricity to the island as a whole.

“I’ve never seen anything like that...

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RMF Pakistan’s Research

MHM at SACOSAN 7


On April 10, 2018, RMF Pakistan Program Manager Afshan Bhatti presented at the seventh South Asian Conference on Sanitation. The topic of her presentation was “Path to an Equal World: Mainstreaming MHM in Education and Health.”

Afshan emphasized that menstrual hygiene management (MHM) is a fundamental human right and is essential in achieving equality for women in any field. Girls from rural and urban communities need to have a voice in development of policies and plans. Afshan’s presentation was based on her research with RMF, including the recommendations provided...

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Five months after Hurricane Maria led them to flee Puerto Rico for New York, Enrique and Emma López returned recently to their home in Aguadilla, a small beach side town on the northwest corner of the island. (Photo: Christopher Gregory)

The New York Times published an article by Luis Ferré-Sadurní that follows Enrique and Emma López’s journey back to their home in Puerto Rico five months after Hurricane Maria devastated the island. Their story highlights the difficulties families are facing when loved ones return to their homes while others stay in the mainland US. Adult children worry about how their...

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New Year Festival Celebration

YOU’RE INVITED!

RMF-supported Palathuduwa Preschool is pleased to be celebrating the Sinhala and Tamil New Year once more. The teachers cordially invite RMF’s staff and supporters to join us for the event.

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©UNHCR

The UNHCR reports 65,773 new refugee arrivals from the Democratic of the Congo (DRC) since January 1, 2018 which exceeds the 2018 operational planning figure of 60,000. 2,672 unaccompanied and separated children and 247 survivors of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) have been identified since mid-December. The number of arrivals remained significant with a daily influx of 605 refugees during the reporting period. Officials also report an outbreak of cholera among the refugees.

Since the onset of the cholera outbreak, a total of 2,006 cholera cases have been reported in Kyangwali (1,898) and Kyaka II...

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A home damaged by Hurricane Maria in Comerio, Puerto Rico. The town, in the mountainous area of the island, is still mostly without power, according to Mayor Josian Santiago. (Erika P. Rodriguez/For The Washington Post)

The Washington Post released an article highlighting the major depopulation event that is currently ongoing in Puerto Rico. People are leaving en masse since Hurricane Maria devastated the island, wiping out the power grid, communication systems, and infrastructure. Almost 58,000 homes are making due with blue tarps as a roof. Tens of thousands of people are still without electricity, and the U.S. Army Corps of...

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Photo: ©UNHCR/Vlora Shemsedini

The UNHCR reports that between the 6th and 9th of February 2018, some 11,833 new refugees from the Democratic of the Congo (DRC) entered Uganda. With attacks on civilians, killings, and the destruction of private property, people are fleeing their homes to escape the disturbing rise in violence. Men, women, and children are crowding into boats to make the hazardous border crossing.

Aboard an overloaded canoe, the journey across Lake Albert can take up to 10 hours, while speed boats can make the crossing in four hours. There have been several incidents of boats going...

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OCHA has released a report detailing the current situation in Somalia and its response to the famine that has taken hold of the nation. More than 411,000 school age children have been displaced since November 2016 due to drought and conflict, and people in crisis are in immediate need of access to food and clean water.

Humanitarian needs remain high. The number of people in IPC 4 (Emergency) has grown tenfold from 83,000 people in January 2017 to 866,000 in January 2018. Overall, more than 6.2 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance, 3.3 million of these require urgent...

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