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Barack H. Obama
United States of America
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, D.C. 20500
Dear Mr. President:
On behalf of Refugees International, I write to highlight the ongoing displacement crisis in the Horn of Africa and urge you, in your upcoming State of the Union Address, to showcase U.S. leadership on this issue and the need for sustained, high-level attention to the plight of those impacted by drought and famine.
What is going on in Haiti two years after an earthquake devastated Port-au-Prince? Last week, I met Evans in an IDP camp in the Petionville neighborhood of Haiti’s capital city. A ten-year-old who is relatively small for his age but bouncing with energy, Evans is like most young boys surviving in Port-au-Prince. He is street smart, looks out for his mother and sisters, and had his life changed forever on January 12, 2010. What makes Evans different from the other boys? He speaks English, a rare skill even for adults in Haiti.
This week, the Washington Post published a poll showing that the U.S. Congress has set a new record for disapproval. A whopping 84 percent of Americans do not approve of the way Congress is doing its job. Media coverage of the House and Senate highlights the brinksmanship and polarized politicking that seems to surround every piece of legislation – and now, even routine nominations and confirmations.
Just as the Republic of South Sudan (RoSS) officially gained nationhood six months ago, hundreds of thousands of southern Sudanese were losing their nationality.
While independence was being celebrated in Juba, the government in Khartoum was busy declaring that anyone with family ties to the new country would no longer be Sudanese. They would be stripped of the only nationality they had ever held.
Yesterday, RI warned that stateless protesters in Kuwait faced a renewed threat of violence from the country's security forces. In our statement, we explained that:
Happy New Year, from all of us at Refugees International! Before we start tackling the challenges of 2012 – and there will be many – we bring you a brief wrap-up of all things RI from the year gone by.
First, "RI in 2011: By the Numbers":