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U.N. SG Warns Withdraw Of Aid Groups From Haiti Leaves Country Struggling With Cholera Epidemic

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon “warned on Friday that Haiti was struggling to cope with a cholera epidemic that has killed thousands and deteriorating conditions in tent camps as aid groups withdraw from the impoverished country due to a lack of funding,” Reuters reports. “In a report to the U.N. Security Council, Ban said there had been an increase in the number of cholera cases since the rainy season began in early March and the World Health Organization had projected there could be up to 112,000 cases during 2012,” the news service writes.

“The cholera outbreak has sickened almost 600,000 people and killed more than 7,400 in the Caribbean nation since October 2010,” Reuters notes, adding, “Ban said more than 390,000 people were still living in camps” since a January 2010 earthquake left more than 1.5 million people homeless. According to the news service, “He said that by March 2012, only half the $5.5 billion pledged by the international community at a fundraising conference in 2010 had been spent.” “‘As a consequence, the support for the transfer of responsibilities to the Health Ministry, as foreseen in the national strategy, has decreased, as has the capacity for the effective treatment of cholera cases,’ he said,” Reuters adds (Nichols, 9/1).