Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

Haiti launches massive cholera vaccination campaign

Haiti recently launched its largest emergency cholera vaccination campaign to try to vaccinate 800,000 people in regions of Haiti particularly devastated by last month’s Hurricane Matthew. Haiti’s World Health Organization representative has stated that immunization alone will not rid Haiti of cholera, as the disease took off due to incredibly poor sanitation infrastructure. Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full text. Haiti Launches Largest-Ever Cholera Vaccination Campaign Jason Beaubien, NPR November 8, 2016 Haiti on Tuesday launched the largest emergency cholera vaccination campaign ever attempted. The plan is to try to vaccinate 800,000 people in parts of the country devastated by Hurricane Matthew. Immediately after the Category 4 storm tore across southwest Haiti last month, the number of reported cholera cases across the country shot up dramatically. In some storm-ravaged areas it jumped tenfold. Nationwide, the number […]

UN considers paying $400 million in compensation for Haiti cholera outbreak

Though the UN has announced its $400 million proposal to eradicate, treat, and compensate for cholera in Haiti, it is still denying legal accountability or responsibility. Rather, the UN has declared that it is acting out of a “moral responsibility,” and views the compensation package as “an important sign of solidarity” with those who were affected by the epidemic. While it is unclear whether this plan will ever be carried out, or even reach full funding, the UN remains clear that, at least for the immediate future, it is not changing its legal position. Linked To Haiti Cholera Outbreak, U.N. Considers Paying Millions In Compensation Jason Beaubien, NPR October 25, 2016   For years, the United Nations has refused to publicly acknowledge that its troops were the source of a massive cholera outbreak in Haiti in the wake of the 2010 […]

Paul Farmer visits Haiti after Hurricane Matthew

After working as a physician in Haiti for 30 years, Paul Farmer is “terrified” by the spread of UN-cholera. However, Dr. Farmer states unequivocally that Haiti has shown progress. For example, he recounts the story of a 12-year old who may have been paralyzed by Zika or a number of things. The boy’s mother took him to the emergency room at University Hospital, a half-hour from the capital. The emergency room specialist “thought he would be asphyxiated if the paralysis hit the diaphragm, so she [the doctor] put him on a breathing machine and did a tracheotomy, which saved his life.” Haiti has shown progress in that the Emergency Room was open 24/7 and maintains an Intensive Care Unit. While Dr. Farmer is “humbled” by his Haitian colleagues, he responds to the notion that Haitians are more resilient than other peoples: […]

Senator’s Investigation Reveals Problematic Spending of Haiti Earthquake Donations

Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley has lead an investigation into the American Red Cross use of donations in the 2010 Haiti earthquake campaign. Receiving little to no feedback or answers to his questions, Senator Grassley has had a hard time finding information about the internal spending even though American Red Cross CEO Gail McGovern has claimed to work with the investigation. Though met with subpar communication, Grassley found that the organization has spent around 25 percent of the Haiti donations on internal expenses with ambiguous and unfounded titles such as ‘program expenses,’ a discovery that stands in direct violation of McGovern’s claim that all but 9 percent of donations go to humanitarian aid. The lack of support for internal policing mechanisms by the organization may hold a piece of the blame. Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full article. … Report: Red Cross […]

USDA’s Plan to Ship Peanuts to Haiti Benefits U.S., Not Haiti

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently announced a plan to ship 500 metric tons of peanuts to Haiti to help with the current hunger crisis resulting from a drought in the country. The problem? Haitians already grow plenty of their own peanuts, which also are a drought-resistant plant. Many nonprofits and aid organizations, including IJDH, have stood up against this plan that would likely devastate Haiti’s economy. As one nonprofit leader says in this article: “When other crops fail, peanuts are what [Haitians are] literally relying on to survive.” Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full text. U.S. To Ship Peanuts To Feed Haitian Kids; Aid Groups Say ‘This Is Wrong’ Clare Leschin-Hoar, NPR May 5, 2016 On paper, sending surplus U.S. peanuts to feed 140,000 malnourished Haitian schoolchildren for a full year sounds like a heroic plan. […]

Mounting Pressure for Accountability for UN Cholera Epidemic

Since October 2010, Haitians have been dying from a cholera epidemic brought to the island by United Nations peacekeepers. Victims have been calling for justice since then, and some recent developments provide signs of hope: On March 1, IJDH Staff Attorney Beatrice Lindstrom argued on behalf of cholera victims before a panel of three judges who indicated some concern about how the victims could access justice if UN immunity continues to be upheld in this case. On March 15, a letter from five UN experts was presented to the Human Rights Council, arguing that UN immunity in this case challenges its credibility in promoting human rights. In more concerning news, a recent study by Doctors Without Borders shows that the death toll from cholera could be at least three times higher than official figures say. Many hope that this revelation will […]

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