U.N. Launches $2.2B Appeal For New Initiative To Eliminate Cholera In Haiti, Dominican Republic

“The United Nations [on Tuesday] announced a new initiative to help eliminate cholera in Haiti and the Dominican Republic, the two nations that make up the Caribbean island of Hispaniola,” the U.N. News Centre reports. “‘The new initiative will invest in prevention, treatment, and education — it will take a holistic approach to tackling the cholera challenge,’ said Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon at the initiative’s launch,” according to the news service (12/11). “With the number of reported cases exceeding 620,000 since the epidemic started in October 2010, [Ban] acknowledged the ‘heavy toll’ as he launched the 10-year initiative,” Agence France-Presse writes.

“U.N. officials said 70 percent of the $2.2 billion needed [for the campaign] would be used to build water and sanitation facilities,” AFP adds (12/11). “Ban said Haiti needed $500 million to implement the first two years of the initiative, which will also address the spread of the cholera outbreak to neighboring Dominican Republic,” Reuters writes, noting, “Ban announced that $215 million in existing funds from donors would be used to support the initiative, while the United Nations would contribute $23.5 million on top of $118 million the U.N. system has already spent on the cholera outbreak” (Nichols, 12/11). The outbreak in Haiti “is currently the worst [cholera] outbreak in the world, and there is growing evidence the disease was introduced to the country by U.N. peacekeepers,” BBC News notes (12/11).