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Haiti - Cholera : Ban Ki-moon responded the letter of Congresswoman Maxine Waters
06/07/2013 10:31:45

Haiti - Cholera : Ban Ki-moon responded the letter of Congresswoman Maxine Waters
Following the letter sent on May 31 to Ban Ki-moon, Secretary General of the United Nations, the Democratic Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), signed by 18 of his colleagues, who expressed concerns about the lack of progress to respond effectively to the cholera epidemic in Haiti, "the United Nations is committed to help Haiti in its struggle against the cholera epidemic," said Friday, Ban Ki-Moon to the U.S. Congress in response to the letter of Congresswoman Maxine Waters.

Lawmakers urged the UN to take responsibility for having introduced cholera in Haiti and to finance the "Hispaniola Initiative" program, which requires $ 2.2 billion for Haiti and $ 70 million for the Dominican Republic, to improve access to safe drinking water, develop sanitation infrastructure and curb the epidemic during the next ten years. "[...] we are dismayed that the United Nations has committed only $23.5 million for this initiative. That is a mere one percent of the total funding required to fund the initiative in Haiti [...]" Maxine Waters stated in her letter.

The Secretary-General sent a letter to each of the 19 signatories [members of Congress], detailing the measures taken by the UN, which has invested more than 140 million in the cholera treatment and prevention activities in Haiti since 2010, indicating that "These efforts have helped to decrease the rate of new infection by 90 percent since the outbreak began [...] The mortality rate has been brought down to around 1 percent. Still, further progress must be made."

However, in his response, Ban Ki-moon has not addressed the issue of responsibility for the outbreak and recalled that the UN refused compensation claims, this past February, as the UN enjoys immunity from prosecution against such lawsuits.

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