Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

Five Years Later, UN Continues Dodging Cholera Accountability

In light of the fifth anniversary of cholera in Haiti, and our #FaceJustice campaign at UN headquarters in New York, Port-au-Prince and Geneva, a reporter probed the UN on its cholera response. The following exchange ensued.

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With Haiti Cholera Victims At UN’s Gate, ICP Asks of Accountability

Matthew Russell Lee, Inner City Press

October 14, 2015

Inner City Press: I want to ask about Haiti and Central African Republic. On Haiti, I’m compelled to ask you. I’m sure you saw the people with the portraits of victims outside. I understand it’s taking place outside Geneva and Port-au-Prince. And I wanted to ask you, the number they’re using is 9,000 people killed, 745,000 people sickened by cholera they say the UN brought negligently to their country and there’s been no accountability. And I wanted to know, now that Mr. [Pedro] Medrano seems to have been decommissioned and wasn’t replaced, what is the UN’s response to… to this sort of being called to task for total lack of accountability and families left without breadwinners, etcetera?

Spokesman Stephane Duajrric: I think on the legal issues, our stand has not changed. Obviously, on a more personal level, if you let me speak, I would refer you to what the Secretary-General said when he met victims… families of victims of cholera when he went to Haiti just about a year and a half ago, I believe, or two years ago. And those feelings still stand. The work that Mr. Medrano had done on mobilizing resources to take… to help support the sanitation system and the… dealing… and helping Haiti deal with the aftermath of cholera has continued under the auspices of the UN country team. So it’s not as if the UN is not active on this front.

Inner City Press: I guess my… if… if on the issue of sexual abuse and exploitation there’s a move towards setting up a trust fund to compensate victims? In this case, the families that were supported were left with nothing, so I’m wondering, has the UN done anything in that regard?

Spokesman: The UN country team and Mr. Medrano had tried to raise funds to deal with the aftermath of the cholera.

Inner City Press: Only the water issues.

Spokesman: What’s your CAR question?…


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