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Haiti - Health : Ban Ki-moon Tuesday launched an appeal for $2.2 billion
12/12/2012 14:50:37

Haiti - Health : Ban Ki-moon Tuesday launched an appeal for $2.2 billion
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon Tuesday launched an appeal for $ 2.2 billion to fund a campaign lasting 10 years to eradicate cholera epidemic on the island of Hispaniola.

Ban Ki-moon declaired in his comments "[...] The United Nations and many partners have been working with the Haitian Government and people to respond. We have focused on water and sanitation facilities, and on training, logistics and early warning. Haiti has seen a dramatic fall in infection and fatality rates. But this will not be a short-term crisis. Eliminating cholera from Haiti will continue to require the full cooperation and support of the international community.

I thank Prime Minister Lamothe of Haiti and Minister Hidalgo of the Dominican Republic for their efforts. President Clinton, the United Nations Special Envoy, could not be here today, but we all know the strength of his commitment to the people of Haiti. My thanks, as well, to the World Health Organization (WHO), UNICEF, UNDP (United Nations Development Programme), PAHO (Pan American Health Organization), the Centres for Disease Control and all international partners.

Almost one year ago, the Presidents of Haiti and the Dominican Republic launched the Initiative for the Elimination of Cholera in the Island of Hispaniola. Today we are launching a new initiative to support the Hispaniola campaign. The new initiative will invest in prevention, treatment, and education. It will take a holistic approach to tackling the cholera challenge.

The main focus is on the extension of clean drinking water and sanitation systems. But we are also determined to save lives now through the use of an oral cholera vaccine. Because global vaccines are in short supply, we will first target high-risk areas — densely populated urban areas and rural areas far removed from health services. As production increases, the vaccine effort will expand its reach. Resources are critical. Haiti will need almost $500 million over the next two years to carry out its national implementation plan.

Yet, at a time when needs are high, funding is low. The relevant humanitarian appeals are less than half funded. Today, I am pleased to announce that $215 million in existing funds from bilateral and multilateral donors will be used to support the initiative. I thank the donor community for this generous commitment. The United Nations will do its part. We are committing $23.5 million, building on the $118 million the United Nations system has spent on the cholera response to date.

I will use every opportunity in the months ahead to mobilize even more funding. We will also continue to support the Government of Haiti in tracking cholera spending and ensure the wise and effective use of resources.

[...] We know the elimination of cholera is possible. Science tells us it can be done. It has happened in difficult environments around the world. It can and will happen in Haiti."

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