U.N. Plans To Introduce $400 Million Cholera Response Package In Haiti
With less than two months left in his term, United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is rolling out a plan to compensate cholera victims in Haiti.
News of the $400 million cholera response package hasn't come without criticism as the United Nations continues to skirt legal responsibility for introducing the epidemic to the country in 2010, the New York Times reports. Since then, an estimated 9,500 Haitians have died from the bacterial disease which has seen a surge in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew.
The package, slated to arrive in coming weeks, is partially an attempt to amend the U.N.'s reputation following the outbreak. “We want to do this because we think it’s the right thing to do for the Haitian people, but frankly speaking, it’s the right thing to do for the United Nations,” said U.N. Deputy Secretary General Jan Eliasson.
Half of the proposed funds will reportedly be set aside for "material assistance" to communities most impacted by the epidemic, while the remaining $200 million is expected to aid improved sanitation and cholera eradication efforts. What remains unclear is whether Mr. Ban will issue an apology, drawing criticism from Philip Alston, U.N. special rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, on the matter.
“It will be a travesty of justice if, having moved so far in such a short time, the United Nations finds itself at the last moment unable to accept the principle of accountability," he wrote in a letter to Eliasson on Oct. 5. "The avoidance of which has motivated the long years of total denial, and if it is similarly unable to embrace the principle of respect for the rights of victims to compensation as opposed to charitable payments."