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'Silent Crisis' Troubles Haiti, Aid Worker Says - 2004-04-28

The United States has repatriated 651 Haitian migrants intercepted at sea last week aboard three overcrowded boats. The U.S. Coast Guard says nearly 1,600 Haitian migrants have been returned to their homeland since late February, when rebels ousted the government of former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide.

The country they were fleeing is beset by a great many problems not the least of which is crushing poverty. Sandy Laumark is the country director for Haiti from the private aid agency CARE USA. She is in Washington hoping to draw more attention to what she says is the "silent crisis" in Haiti.

"Emergency funding has pretty much stopped," she said. "But we are also seeing other support that has been in place before for basic things like health and education. I think a number of donors are holding back and waiting to see or have their own issues about how much money they would like to give the new government and how many other commitments they have abroad and other issues."