Foreign Aid

Is the UN responsible for the deaths of 6,000-plus Haitians?

(September 12, 2013) The U.N., in addition to not issuing an apology, has never accepted responsibility for the deadly epidemic that has killed more than 8,260 and sickened over 675,000 in the last three years writes Washington-based think tank, The Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR).

The scientific evidence suggests a “confluence of factors” is to blame for Haiti’s ongoing cholera epidemic but singles out U.N. peacekeepers as the “most likely source of introduction of cholera into Haiti”. The country’s prime minister says the U.N. has an obvious “moral responsibility” to address the epidemic but the U.N. continues to deny responsibility.

The Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti and the Bureau des Avocats Internationaux are pushing for legal redress on behalf of over 6,000 cholera victims, reports CEPR, although it notes an earlier claim brought to the U.N. was dismissed as “not receivable” in February.

“Not receivable” apparently means not only does the U.N. not have to compensate Haiti’s cholera victims, it also doesn’t have to explain why.

Haiti PM: UN Has “Moral Responsibility” to Address Cholera Epidemic

Published by The Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) on Thursday, 12 September, 2013

Haitian Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe, on a trip to Europe to ensure continued donor support, was asked by France 24’s Marc Perelman about the ongoing cholera epidemic and U.N. responsibility. Perelman notes that “all the scientific evidence up to date points to the U.N.” but questioned Lamothe as to why the Haitian government has “never pushed for a public apology.” Lamothe stressed that the government has tried to address the issue through “direct dialogue” with the U.N., but also noted that the U.N. has an obvious “moral responsibility” to address the epidemic.

The U.N., in addition to not issuing an apology, has never accepted responsibility for the deadly epidemic that has killed over 8,260 and sickened over 675,000 in the last three years. A U.N.-backed cholera elimination plan has been unable to raise the required funds to adequately address the issue, despite Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s assurance in late 2012 that he would “use every opportunity” to raise the necessary funds. A high-level donor meeting to raise funds for the plan, scheduled for early October in Washington, has now been postponed until 2014. It had been expected that Mr. Ban, as well as World Bank president Jim Yong Kim, would attend. The plan, which requires some $450 million over its first two years, remains less than half funded.

In the meantime, cholera continues to ravage the country as the response capabilities of national actors diminish.

The full story is continued at the publisher’s website here.

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