By Danielle Randall-L’Estrange, a DAP Volunteer, based in Port au Prince, Haiti
Haiti is no stranger to natural disasters. It is currently braving Hurricane Matthew, it’s 22nd hurricane in 200 years. Also, as most will remember, Haiti was hit by a 7.0 magnitude earthquake in 2010 which killed hundreds of thousands of people and left close to 1.5 million people displaced.
The cholera endemic that followed the 2010 earthquake, however, was not a disaster of unavoidable, natural consequence. As has been widely studied and documented, the UN was responsible for the introduction of cholera in Haiti. Thus far the international community has not placed sufficient pressure on the U.N. to take full responsibility and the situation continues to worsen.
In early August, a UN special rapporteur on human rights, Philip Alston, sent a confidential report to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon addressing the UN’s responsibility for Haiti’s cholera outbreak. The confidential draft report, first reported on by the New York Times, was written under the proposed agenda item “Promotion and Protection of Human Rights” for the UN’s 71st General Assembly which recently came to a close in New York.
Alston’s conclusions outline in detail the UN’s responsibility for the outbreak and their failures to take accountability and implement effective remedies in the aftermath. In producing this report, Alston has helped to shed light on a public health disaster, left to fester, that those living in the shadows of its grim reality in Haiti already know all too well. Continue reading this post…