As the rainy season begins in Haiti, cases of cholera are climbing again. Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders) reports that there aren’t enough treatment centers or supplies to treat the epidemic’s resurgence. Meanwhile, the UN is still struggling to raise money for a cholera elimination plan which has been proposed several times, in multiple iterations, in attempts to capture donors’ interest. Many blame the lack of donor support on the lack of UN accountability for causing the epidemic: The UN still has not apologized to cholera victims or even accepted responsibility.
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Cholera on the Uptick in Haiti as Donor Response Falters
Center for Economic and Policy Research
November 25, 2014
From January through August of 2014, 69 Haitians died from cholera and some 8,628 fell ill, a 76 percent drop from the previous year, the United Nations reported. In October, at a high-level donor conference convened to raise money to help fight cholera, World Bank director Jim Kim told the assembled diplomats that the reduction in cases was “an achievement of which Haiti and its development partners can be proud.” The U.N. decreased their projections for the number of new cases in 2014 to 15,000 from 45,000 and proudly stated that the “case fatality rate is below the 1 per cent target rate set by the World Health Organization.”
But the last few months have shown the optimism to be premature, at best. As heavy rains have hit Haiti, so too has a resurgence of cholera. With data through November 21, 2014 [PDF], the number of cases in 2014 has already shot past the 15,000 estimate to over 20,000. More worryingly, since the beginning of September, 135 Haitians have died from cholera, nearly twice as many as had died over the first 8 months of the year. Further, the much-watched case fatality rate stands at 1.3 percent over that time period, above the 1 percent target.
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