Editorial, Opinion Pieces Discuss Global Response To Hurricane Matthew, Cholera In Haiti

New York Times: Haiti’s New Catastrophe
Editorial Board

“…The pressing needs now [in Haiti following Hurricane Matthew], before the rebuilding, are clean water, food, and health care. … The man who is expected to take over as United Nations secretary general, António Guterres, will inherit a special obligation to develop and fully fund a plan to bring clean water and sanitation to Haiti, and to revive a languishing effort to eradicate, not just contain, cholera. The organization’s member nations, meanwhile, need to answer the urgent appeal for relief aid, and then deliver on their promises. The United States government has another responsibility, beyond humanitarian relief: The Department of Homeland Security should immediately reinstitute temporary protected status for Haitians in the United States, and suspend efforts to deport unauthorized immigrants back to the disaster zone. People who are moved to help should temper generosity with caution, and consult guides to effective, reputable charities…” (10/7).

New York Times: A Plea for Haiti
Anita Zaidi, physician and director of the enteric and diarrheal diseases program at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

“…Hurricane Matthew will worsen longstanding challenges in Haiti and … the humanitarian response needs to be better than the 2010 earthquake response. But we are also at risk of repeating the same costly mistake when it comes to cholera: delayed vaccine rollout. … The World Health Organization has stockpiled a vaccine that could be used as soon as next week in known cholera hot spots. If we don’t want to repeat past mistakes, we need to jump-start our response today. The United Nations — acknowledging its role in bringing cholera to Haiti — is working on a plan to address the cholera emergency with the Haitian Ministry of Health. But we need to do more than plan, given this natural disaster. We must act urgently so that we do not fail Haiti again” (10/7).

Newsweek: Hurricane Matthew Has Exacerbated The Debt We Owe To Haiti
Michael Posner, Jerome Kohlberg professor of ethics and finance and co-director of the Center for Business and Human Rights at the NYU Stern School of Business

“…In the wake of Matthew, the challenge to the U.N. and the international community is now exponentially greater and more urgent. Many of Haiti’s 11 million people are now without safe drinking water, and further spread of cholera is all but certain. … There are three sets of obligations that the U.N. and key member states must now address. First are the immediate public health concerns. … The second set of obligations relate to a longer term need to eradicate cholera. … The third set of obligations for the U.N. and its member states relate to compensating the victims and their families. … [F]or any of these efforts to succeed, the U.N. and key governments, including the United States, need to link their development and human rights agendas more closely. We all must recognize that Haiti’s economic future and the health of its people are tied to meaningful democratic reform. If not now, when?” (10/7).

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