Posted by: ivetteromero | February 24, 2013
A Chance to Right a Wrong
Louise C. Ivers recently wrote an op-ed responding to the United Nations secretary general Ban Ki-moon’s rejection of a legal claim for compensation filed in 2011 on behalf of cholera victims in Haiti [see “UN Won’t Compensate Haiti Cholera Victims, Despite Blame for Outbreak” link below]. He stated that the claims, brought by a nongovernmental organization, were “not receivable” because of the United Nations’ diplomatic immunity. This is Ms. Ivers’ well-pondered reaction:
On Feb. 27, Haiti’s minister of health will introduce one important component of this plan — an initiative to expand access to cholera vaccination. If the United Nations were to finance this initiative, along with the rest of the government’s anti-cholera program, it could have a significant and immediate impact on stemming this epidemic. As of now, however, the United Nations plans to contribute just 1 percent of the cost. That is not enough. Meanwhile, the organization’s stabilization mission in Haiti is budgeted for $648 million this year — a sum that could more than finance the entire cholera elimination initiative for two years.
It’s time for the United Nations to rethink what true stabilization could be: preventing people from dying of a grueling, painful — and wholly preventable — disease is a good start.
Louise C. Ivers, a senior health and policy adviser at Partners In Health and associate professor at Harvard Medical School, has been leading cholera treatment and prevention activities in Haiti.
For full article, see http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/23/opinion/a-chance-to-right-a-wrong-in-haiti.html?_r=2&