UNITED NATIONS – A new appeal by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres for funding to help Haiti’s cholera victims has fallen short, with only Britain responding to the call, UN officials said Friday, March 17.
With only two percent of the needed $400 million raised, Guterres had written to all member-states in February to appeal for aid to Haiti, where more than 9,000 people died of cholera in a 2010 epidemic.
Britain was the only country to come forward, pledging $622,000. It will be added to earlier contributions to the UN fund from South Korea, France, Liechtenstein, India, and Chile – totaling about $2 million.
Canada and Japan have separately granted about $7 million to help Haiti.
The UN is hoping to raise $400 million over two years to reduce the current cholera caseload of 30,000 to 10,000 by the end of 2018 and provide clean water and sanitation. (READ: After the hurricane, cholera hits Haiti’s suffering survivors)
Only 25 percent of Haitians have access to toilets.
In his letter, Guterres had asked member-states to come forward with pledges by March 6 and said that if not enough was raised, he would be looking for other solutions.
UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said the search for funds to help Haiti continues.
“We will continue our efforts to mobilize the funds necessary to this new approach to cholera in Haiti in order to diminish the incidence of cholera in the country and support Haitians most directly affected by the disease,” Dujarric said.
Former UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon was forced to apologize to the Haitian people after tests showed that cholera was introduced by infected Nepalese UN peacekeepers sent to Haiti after a devastating 2010 earthquake. (READ: On anniversary, UN pressed about liability for Haiti cholera)
The United Nations insists it is not legally responsible for the damages and invokes diplomatic immunity from lawsuits linked to the cholera outbreak. – Rappler.com