As UN Admits Role in Haiti Cholera Crisis, Audits Show No Lessons Learned

October 2, 2020 0 By HearthstoneYarns

A day after the United Nations admitted that it helped spread cholera in Haiti, the organization also found that poor sanitation persisted in its missions around the world—from the Caribbean nation to Africa and the Middle East.

U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon acknowledged on Thursday that reckless waste disposal played a role in the 2010 outbreak that killed and infected thousands of Haitians and said the organization will implement a “significant new set of U.N. actions” in the next few months to address the epidemic. The admission was in response to a private report, drafted by New York University law professor and U.N. special rapporteur on human rights Philip Alston, which found that “but for the actions of the United Nations,” the crisis would not have occurred.

The announcement also came just before the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in New York upheld the U.N.’s “diplomatic immunity” in answering for its actions, meaning it would not be required to pay settlements to victims of the outbreak.

On Friday, findings released by the organization’s Office of Internal Oversight Services showed that U.N. staffers were still not using strict waste disposal protocols at their missions in Haiti, Africa, and the Middle East as late as 2014 and 2015—years after the epidemic had killed nearly 10,000 people and sickened at least 770,000.

The New York Times reports: