U.N. Must Provide Proper Resolution Package To Haiti Cholera Victims
The Conversation: Haiti’s cholera victims still can’t get what they need from the U.N.
Nicolas Lemay-Hébert, senior lecturer in the International Development Department at the University of Birmingham, and Rosa Freedman, professor of law, conflict, and global development at the University of Reading
“…The U.N.’s plan for Haiti includes both a commitment to consult with victims [of the cholera epidemic] and a preference for collective reparations, but it’s succeeding on neither front. … [T]he U.N. Development Programme isn’t offering cash payments to Haiti’s cholera victims. Why? Because the money and political will aren’t there. Whereas the Ebola cash transfers came out of the U.N.’s budget, money for the cholera effort is meant to come in the form of voluntary donations from U.N. member states, who have so far collectively contributed only a tiny percentage of the target amount. This is yet another slap in the face for the victims: the U.N. played a role in causing the outbreak, and its budget can certainly spare the money required. Is this behemoth of an organization really so worried about the consequences of giving a couple of hundred dollars each to some of the poorest people in the world? This epidemic is a terrible stain on the reputation of the U.N. and its peacekeeping missions, and it will only be removed if a proper resolution package is created and implemented. And whatever form that package takes, it must be built around victims’ actual needs and concerns, not the U.N.’s own idea of what they might be” (4/19).