Via Reuters: Cholera blamed on UN peacekeepers surges in Haiti as funding vanishes. Excerpt:
U.N.-led foreign funding has dried up for Haiti's fight against cholera, thought to have been introduced by Nepali peacekeepers, triggering a surge of deaths this year even as the global body vowed to help overcome the epidemic.
The lack of support is notable because Haiti was free of cholera until 2010, when U.N. peacekeepers dumped infected sewage into a river, according to investigators.
Since then, more than 9,000 people have died of the disease that causes uncontrollable diarrhea and 800,000 people have fallen ill, mostly in the first two years of the outbreak.
The United Nations has not legally accepted responsibility for the outbreak. An independent panel appointed by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon issued a 2011 report that did not determine conclusively how the cholera was introduced to Haiti.
However, a new report by the independent U.N. Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights that will be presented to the U.N. General Assembly later this year concluded that scientific evidence "now points overwhelmingly to the responsibility of the peacekeeping mission as the source of the outbreak."
In August, Ban said the United Nations has a "moral responsibility" to help Haiti's cholera victims and their families.
The outbreak and subsequent failure by the United Nations to help Haiti stamp out the disease will be a stain on the legacy of Ban, who steps down at the end of 2016 after serving two five-year terms that have been blighted by accusations of sexual abuse and exploitation by U.N. peacekeepers in the Central African Republic and elsewhere.
Ban, whose successor will be elected by the General Assembly, launched a major appeal aimed at eradicating cholera in Haiti four years ago.
But foreign governments largely ignored the plea and funding has almost halved to $7.9 million in 2016 from a year ago.
That has led to a reduction in prevention and treatment services, and 227 deaths in the first seven months of the year, a third more than a year earlier.
"These results are due to the reduction of funding available for cholera response projects," the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said in a curt statement last week.
Even OCHA's Central Emergency Relief Fund, which channels funds from other U.N. agencies to humanitarian crises, stopped funding cholera relief in Haiti this year, public documents show.
Because of the funding crunch, many charity teams that do street work to trace the source of local outbreaks wound down activities from April, treatment centers have been shuttered, and those still active complain of shortages of antibiotics.