U.S. Senators Ed Markey [D-MA] and Marco Rubio [R-FL] came together on a letter asking that Secretary of State John Kerry appropriately address the cholera outbreak in Haiti. The bipartisan duo demands immediate action, echoing the recent letter to the Secretary sent by 158 members of the U.S. House of Representatives.
Cholera Epidemic in Haiti Demands Immediate Action Say U.S. Senators Markey and Rubio
Ed Markey, United States Senator for Massachusetts
July 22, 2016
As Haiti continues to suffer from a cholera epidemic that has resulted in more cases and deaths than any other known cholera outbreak in the Americas, Senators Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, called on the State Department to address the crisis and urge the United Nations (UN) to take responsibility and appropriate steps to remedy the public health emergency. An independent report found that faulty sanitation from the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti introduced the cholera bacteria, which has since led to more than 731,000 suspected cholera cases and nearly 9,000 deaths since 2010.
Read the Press Release from Sen. Markey’s office HERE.
Dear Secretary Kerry,
We write to encourage the State Department engage with the international community to expeditiously address the ongoing cholera epidemic in Haiti and urge the United Nations (UN) to remedy this public health emergency. The situations originated from infected members of the UN’s peacekeeping contingent who were in Haiti responding to the humanitarian crisis that emerged after the 2010 earthquake.
As the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, Haiti has struggled to recover from the strongest quake to affect the nation in over two centuries. Today, six years later, over 60,000 people remain displaced and require humanitarian assistance to support their basic needs and protection. Despite an independent report stating that faulty sanitation from the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) introduced the cholera bacteria, the UN has refused to take responsibility. Instead, the UN asserted immunity under the 1946 Convention on Privileges and Immunities, and claimed that a confluence of factors caused the epidemic. While Haitians are denied remuneration or a transparent mechanism to resolve claims for compensation, cholera continues to cause significant morbidity and mortality across the country.
Read the full letter HERE.