UN: Lesson Learned From Haiti Is to “Screen Peacekeepers For Cholera”


Above: a cholera treatment centre in Haiti (UN Photo/Logan Abassi)

By the Caribbean Journal staff

One of the lessons learned from the cholera epidemic in Haiti is to screen peacekeepers for cholera, a spokesperson for UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon told reporters on Wednesday.

Responding to questions over a lawsuit filed by cholera victims against the UN this week, associate spokesperson Farhan Haq said “I believe that part of our lessons learned from this has been to screen peacekeepers for cholera.”

Most scientific studies of the cholera epidemic point to UN peacekeepers from Nepal as the source of the epidemic, which has killed more than 8,000 people in Haiti.

Regarding the lawsuit, the UN said it remained “committed to do all that the Organization can do to help the people of Haiti overcome the cholera epidemic.”

“The United Nations is working on the ground with the Government and people of Haiti both to provide immediate and practical assistance to those affected, and to put in place better infrastructure and services for all,” Haq said. “With regard to possible claims against the Organization, as has been stated with regard to other cases that are subject to litigation, it is not the United Nations practice to discuss in public claims filed against the Organization.”

For the full transcript of the press briefing on Wednesday, click here.


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