Haiti Digest: October 11
This week a lawsuit on behalf of victims of the reintroduction of cholera to Haiti was filed in New York against the United Nations. The source of the infections has been traced to Nepalese peacekeepers whose camp sanitation facilities were inadequate. The camp bordered a tributary of the Arbonite river, Haiti’s largest, and waste from infected peacekeepers spread the disease downstream. The Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti filed the suit, and you can read details on their website. If you’re interested in a more in-depth accounting of the cholera epidemic and its impact, take a look at a new report from Yale law on the subject.
The Venezuelan government is continuing its home building program in Haiti with a new commitment of US$260 million. The funds will be used to construct 4,400 new housing units near Port au Prince. We hope that the project will help in efforts to alleviate the severe housing shortage that has left tens of thousands of Haitians homeless and in IDP camps scattered throughout the city. Read the full story here. The Quixote Center has worked with a coalition of NGOs to halt the forced evictions in the IDP camps, arguing that evictions without an alternative living situation in place are both inhumane and ineffective.
As expected, the United Nations has renewed its peacekeeping mission (MINUSTAH) to Haiti for another year. While this news is no surprise, the announcement coincided with the filing of the cholera lawsuit, which prompted Beatrice Lindstrom, an IJDH lawyer, to point out, “If the funding that is being provided to MINUSTAH was instead invested in clean water and sanitation, thousands of lives would be saved each year and we’d be much closer to realizing human rights in Haiti.” Hear Hear!
In December, Haiti Reborn partner Marcel Garçon will spend a week in Washington DC with the Quixote Center. During his trip he will speak to local church groups, community associations, and on the campuses of local universities. If you would like to help with the planning for Marcel’s trip, or have suggestions for speaking venues please contact email@example.com as soon as possible.