When Defenders Bring Disease: The U.N. Cannot Cure Cholera Crisis After Causing the Epidemic

For more than six years, Haiti has been fighting a Cholera epidemic caused when Nepalese U.N. peacekeepers leaked waste into the water supply. In December, the former U.N. secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, apologized to the country and promised $400 million to help fight the epidemic. However, only a small portion of the goal ($2 million) was raised, with only six of the 193 U.N. members contributing funds. Several countries donated outside of the fund, but the money raised was far from the announced goal.

Experts speculate that the lack of funding may have been caused by competing concerns about other highly publicized emergency situations that required funding and U.N. resources. For instance, the Ebola outbreak in Africa seemed to be of higher interest to donors than the Cholera outbreak in Haiti. The damage from Cholera cannot be ignored, though, with 800,000 people in Haiti affected.

From The New York Times, “After Bringing Cholera to Haiti, U.N. Can’t Raise Money to Fight It”

Excerpt from article:

He finally acted after the organization’s independent investigator on extreme poverty and human rights, Philip Alston, said in a scathing report that the United Nations’ failure to take responsibility for the cholera crisis was “morally unconscionable, legally indefensible and politically self-defeating.”

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