U.N. wants $200 million
to pay Haiti's cholera victims, communities
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[October 25, 2016]
By Michelle Nichols
UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - The United
Nations hopes it can raise $200 million for payments to families of more
than 9,300 cholera victims in Haiti and to communities worst-affected by
the outbreak of the disease, which has been blamed on Nepali U.N.
Half could be spent on communities, with the remaining $100 million
paid to families of victims, U.N. special advisor David Nabarro told
reporters. This would allow for payments of some $10,000 per family.
Nabarro said raising the funds through donations would be "highly
unlikely" and U.N. officials would discuss with member states
whether the world body could add the cost to its budget, paid by 193
U.N. member states through assessed contributions.
So far, he said it had "proved to be very hard indeed to get any
traction" from member states on providing donations.
"I have felt a little bit disheartened about it," Nabarro said. "I'm
not in a situation where I feel confident about it."
Nabarro said U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who steps down at
the end of 2016 after two five-year terms, is due to propose the
payment plan to the U.N. General Assembly in the coming weeks as
part of a new approach to dealing with cholera in the Caribbean
The new approach would also include raising a further $200 million
to fund rapid response teams to combat cholera outbreaks and begin
building water and sanitation systems throughout impoverished Haiti.
Nabarro said only a quarter of Haitians have toilets and half have
access to clean drinking water.
The United Nations has not legally accepted responsibility for the
outbreak. But Ban said in August the U.N. has a "moral
responsibility" to help cholera victims and families with material
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Haiti was free of cholera until 2010, when U.N. peacekeepers dumped
infected sewage into a river. Since then, thousands have died of the
disease that causes uncontrollable diarrhea and more than 800,000
people have fallen ill.
A new report by the independent U.N. Special Rapporteur on Extreme
Poverty and Human Rights has concluded that scientific evidence "now
points overwhelmingly to the responsibility of the peacekeeping
mission as the source of the outbreak."
Nabarro said the United Nations wanted to start consulting with
communities in Haiti on how a material support program could work,
but said "it's very difficult for us to be discussing amounts of
money with families if we've not got some promises from potential
sources of funding before we go ahead."
(Reporting by Michelle Nichols; Editing by David Gregorio)
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