Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

UN Response to Cholera Claims Still Inadequate

On February 19, Secretary General Ban Ki-moon issued a letter in attempts to explain the lack of UN accountability for cholera. While the letter mostly applauded the UN’s efforts to secure funding for water and sanitation in Haiti, Ban Ki-moon also made the longest statement on the legal claims to date. Unfortunately, the statement continues to be an inadequate explanation of why the UN won’t take responsibility for the epidemic that has ravaged Haiti since 2010.

Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full text

Ban Ki-moon Explains to Congress Why the UN Won’t be Held Accountable for Cholera in Haiti

Center for Economic and Policy Research
February 27, 2015

In December, Rep. John Conyers and 76 other members of congress wrote to United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, urging the U.N. to provide a settlement mechanism for cholera victims and their families and lays out the reasons why the UN should be legally obliged to provide such a mechanism.  The members of Congress add that, “while we applaud the UN’s efforts to secure more funding for cholera treatment….we wish to respectfully remind you that these efforts do not absolve the UN of its obligation to receive legal claims from victims of the epidemic and provide remediation for the affected communities.” 2 months later, Ban Ki-moon has finally sent the members of Congress a lengthy response which the defenders of Haiti’s cholera victims have characterized as “preposterous as a matter of law and logic.”

In a letter, dated February 19, 2015, Ban Ki-moon responds to the 76 members of congress. Most of the letter is dedicated to outlining all the work the U.N. has done to combat cholera in Haiti.  The U.N. has indeed issued calls for cholera funding, but the Haitian government’s 10-year cholera eradication plan remains woefully underfunded. Just 18 percent of the $2.2 billion required has thus far been pledged, with less than 13 percent actually disbursed, according to the most recent data [PDF]. A donor conference in October failed to secure significant additional pledges of support.

 

Click HERE for the full text.

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