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Senators Markey, Rubio, Menendez, Leahy: United Nations Must Fulfill its Obligation to Aid Cholera Victims in Haiti

Sep 20, 2016 | Press Releases

Washington (September 20, 2016) – In a letter to United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Senators Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), and Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) urged the UN to provide material resources to end the threat of cholera in Haiti and deliver financial assistance to victims and their families that were affected by the epidemic. Last month, the United Nations for the first time acknowledged “a moral responsibility” for the deadly cholera outbreak in the western hemisphere’s poorest country, but did not take responsibility for its role in the epidemic. More than 779,212 cholera cases and 9,145 deaths are a direct result of the UN’s presence in Haiti. In the letter, the Senators write that the United Nations has an obligation under the Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the United Nations to provide assistance to those suffering as a result of the organization’s involvement in the spread of cholera in Haiti.
“Haitians have waited far too long for the UN to take responsibility for this crisis and to compensate those affected,” write the Senators in the letter to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.  “Under the guidance and leadership of the UN, along with other global partners, we can mobilize a public health strategy for Haiti that eliminates the spread of cholera. We urge the UN to apply a comprehensive and transparent approach when considering how best to assist and compensate current and former victims of the disease and their families.”
In the letter the Senators also stress the need to strengthen and improve Haiti’s clean water and sanitation infrastructure, enhance access to medical facilities, accelerate the distribution of hygiene interventions and vaccines, and grow the technological capacity to monitor these efforts to ensure their sustainability.
A copy of the Senators’ letter can be found HERE.