More resources needed to rid Haiti of cholera, UN deputy-chief urges

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he UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) has partnered with Haitian Agencies to combat cholera by providing clean water. UN Photo/Logan Abassi

Increased UN efforts to respond to the cholera epidemic in Haiti has helped reduce the transmission of the bacterial disease, but more needs to be done.

That's the gist of the UN deputy chief's remarks to the General Assembly on Wednesday during an informal briefing on the matter.

Over the last seven years, cholera has afflicted nearly 800,000 people on the Caribbean island.

Jocelyne Sambira has more.

The UN has apologised for its response to the cholera outbreak in Haiti that claimed more than 9,000 lives.

It has also asked international donors for US$400 million to fund what it has called a two-track response.

The Organisation's "New Approach to Cholera in Haiti" includes a substantially intensified effort to respond to, and reduce, the incidence of the disease.

The UN is also intensifying support to the Haitian government in building sound water, sanitation and health systems.

UN Deputy Secretary-General, Amina Mohammed, said the new plan and the expression of contrition generated "considerable goodwill" in the Caribbean island.

"Now the United Nations must demonstrate its commitment to the implementation of the New Approach or risk dissipating that goodwill, needlessly heightening the suffering of the people of Haiti and incurring further reputational damage to the Organization. Secretary-General António Guterres is strongly committed to taking forward the New Approach. However, he needs the full support of the Membership in order to do so. UN action requires Member State action. We cannot fail the people of Haiti at this critical moment. We cannot leave Haiti behind."

Earlier in February, Secretary-General António Guterres asked Member States to inform him if they intend to make voluntary contributions the implementation of the new plan to counter cholera.

So far, Ms Mohammed said, the UN has received US$2.7 million from seven Member States and US$17,000 from UN staff members and private donors.

Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations

Duration: 1’35”

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