UN: “Haiti Cannot Wait Two Generations” to Eliminate Cholera

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Above: combating cholera in Haiti by providing clean water (UN Photo/Logan Abassi)

By the Caribbean Journal staff

Support for initiatives to combat cholera in Haiti have been “disappointing,” according to Pedro Medrano Rojas, the senior United Nations Coordinator for the Cholera Response in Haiti.

Rojas was writing in the Greek newspaper To Vima.

“We are standing at a tipping point, and the European Union – the world’s largest single donor of development aid – could be a leading actor on this,” he said. “Haiti cannot wait two generations until reaching the same levels of coverage as the rest of the region.”

The cholera outbreak, which began in 2010 following the earthquake, has killed more than 8,600 people in Haiti.

By most accounts, it was brought to the country by United Nations peacekeepers from Nepal. The United Nations has not taken responsibility, and has claimed immunity in a lawsuit seeking compensation for victims.

The UN and Haiti’s government launched a national sanitation campaign earlier this year to combat the disease, along with a three-year initiative on fighting cholera.

But support abroad is lagging, the UN official said.

“At the current rate of disbursement, it would take more than 40 years to get the funds needed for Haitians to gain the same access as its regional neighbours” to basic health, water and sanitations systems,” he wrote.

 

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