U.N. Plans to Pay Victims of Cholera Outbreak It Caused in Haiti
according to rapporteur report from NY times, link ,Now, with barely two months left in his term, Mr. Ban’s administration is scrambling to compensate, for the first time, those who have suffered, with a plan to give them or their communities cash payments from a proposed $400 million cholera response package. He also wants to make good on an unfulfilled promise to eradicate cholera from Haiti as the disease continues to claim lives.
But the United Nations does not have the money it needs for the proposed package, and is facing criticism that it is still avoiding legal culpability for one of the worst calamities to ever befall Haiti, the Western Hemisphere’s poorest country.
Roughly 9,500 Haitians have died from cholera — some researchers say the toll could be far greater — and hundreds of thousands have been sickened. The disease has surged in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew.
The proposed package follows the first acknowledgment by the United Nations, in August, that it played a role in the initial outbreak of the disease, in October 2010.
The acknowledgment was made after a scathing report by an independent United Nations human rights adviser, Philip Alston, denouncing what he called the organization’s years of silence and denial, was leaked and published in The New York Times. The admission also came just before a federal appeals court in New York upheld the immunity of the United Nations from prosecution under a longstanding diplomatic treaty.
The basic details of the proposed package are still under discussion. It requires of the United Nations a delicate diplomatic balance — weighing considerations of donors who will pay for it, and of victims who have been demanding justice.
The official rollout of the package, expected in the coming weeks, is designed in part to repair the damage that cholera has done to the reputation of the United Nations, which regularly presses governments around the world to pursue accountability, and to help Mr. Ban’s legacy in particular.
“We want to do this because we think it’s the right thing to do for the Haitian people, but frankly speaking, it’s the right thing to do for the United Nations,” Jan Eliasson, the United Nations deputy secretary general, said in a telephone interview.
Whether the proposed package will satisfy Haitian victims and their families who have unsuccessfully sought to sue the United Nations in the United States remains unclear. Lawyers for the victims have not yet decided whether to pursue further appeals, including to the United States Supreme Court.