Conyers to Rice on UN: Help Alleviate the Haitian Cholera Crisis

The following letter is being circulated by the office of Rep. John Conyers. Ask your Rep. to sign by calling the Congressional switchboard at 202-225-3121. Current signers include: Blumenauer, Brown, Capuano, Clay, Clarke (MI), Clarke (NY), Conyers, Cohen, Deutch, Edwards, Ellison, Farr, Grijalva, Gutierrez, Hastings, Holmes-Norton, Honda, Jackson, Johnson (GA), Kucinich, Lee, Lewis (GA), Maloney, McCollum, McDermott, McGovern, Moran, Olver, Rangel, Rush, Schakowsky, Stark, Towns, Waters, and Wilson (FL). The Conyers letter was cited in a New York Times editorial. Urge your Rep. to support this letter.

From: The Honorable John Conyers, Jr.
Date: 5/7/2012

Dear Colleague:

Please join me in supporting efforts to address the cholera epidemic in Haiti by signing a letter to U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice urging UN authorities to play a central role in addressing the crisis.

The cholera outbreak began in October 2010, ten months after Haiti’s tragic earthquake, and “has become one of the largest cholera epidemics in modern history” according to the Pan-American Health Organization. To date, at least 7,200 Haitians have died from the disease and more than 530,000 people have been infected.

As cholera was brought to Haiti due to the actions of the UN, it is imperative for the UN to now act decisively to control the cholera epidemic. UN authorities should work with Haiti’s government and the international community to confront and, ultimately, eliminate this deadly disease from Haiti and the rest of the island of Hispaniola. A failure to act will not only lead to countless more deaths: it will undermine the crucial effort to reconstruct Haiti and will pose a permanent public health threat to the populations of neighboring nations.

Sincerely,

John Conyers, Jr.

Member of Congress

May XX, 2012

Dear Ambassador Rice,

We are writing to express our deep concern regarding the ongoing cholera epidemic in Haiti and to ask you to strongly encourage the United Nations to take a leadership role in addressing this catastrophic public health crisis. The outbreak began in October 2010, ten months after Haiti’s tragic earthquake, and “has become one of the largest cholera epidemics in modern history” according to the Pan-American Health Organization. To date, at least 7,200 Haitians have died fromthe disease and more than 530,000 people have been infected. So as to ensure that this devastating disease is brought under control, we call on you to urge UN authorities to support efficient treatment and prevention of the epidemic and to help Haiti acquire adequate water and sanitation infrastructure.

As acknowledged by the UN’s Special Envoy to Haiti, former President Bill Clinton, UN troops introduced the cholera bacterium “into the waterways of Haiti, into the bodies of Haitians” and, as such, were the “proximate cause” of the epidemic. We welcome your statement in March to the Secu­rity Coun­cil calling on the United Nationsto “redou­ble its efforts to pre­vent any fur­ther inci­dents of this kind and to ensure that those respon­si­ble are held accountable.”

As cholera was brought to Haiti due to the actions of the UN, we believe that it is imperative for the UN to now act decisively to control the cholera epidemic. UN authorities should work with Haiti’s government and the international community to confront and, ultimately, eliminate this deadly disease from Haiti and the rest of the island of Hispaniola. A failure to act will not only lead to countless more deaths: it will undermine the crucial effort to reconstruct Haiti and will pose a permanent public health threat to the populations of neighboring nations.

According to the Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO), Haiti is one of the most underserved countries in the world in terms of water and sanitation infrastructure. These infrastructural weaknesses have made Haiti particularly susceptible to water-borne disease. Cholera had not been present in Haiti for over a century prior to October 2010, making Haitians ‘immunologically naïve’ and even more vulnerable to the disease.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), has done a remarkable job in partnership with the Haitian government in distributing treatment supplies, providing treatment training, and establishing a national cholera surveillance system. The CDC estimates that cholera will likely persist in Haiti absent the development of water and sanitation systems, the cost of which has been estimated at $800 million to $1.1 billion.

On January 12thof this year, the presidents of Haiti and the Dominican Republic, joined by UN agencies PAHO, World Health Organization and UNICEF and the U.S. CDC, appealed to donor countries to honor pledges and provide funds for water and sanitation infrastructure. However, there has been little response to this appeal from the international community. Moreover, with the onset of the rainy season, the number of deaths from cholera is rising once again.

Accordingly, we call upon you to urge UN authorities to play a central role in addressing the cholera crisis. First, by helping ensure that resources are in place to provide adequate treatment and prevention of the disease in the short term. Secondly, by taking the lead in helping Haiti and the rest of the island of Hispaniola acquire the necessary funding to develop the water and sanitation infrastructure needed to effectively control the cholera epidemic.

Finally, we ask that you encourage UN authorities and all donor governments involved in the effort to fight cholera to intensify their cooperation with the Haitian state and people through capacity-building and the active inclusion of government representatives in decision-making and through the regular consultation of civil society actors.

Sincerely,

Where is the empathy and what happened to all of the aid that was supposedly going to the Haitian people?

I would appreciate more information as to why the cholera bacterium was introduced. How can this be justified?

this is a humanitarian crisis, lets help alleviate it

The continual use of combat drones is doing us more harm than good. Each strike that misses it's target injuring and killing civilians is creating more enemies focussed on revenge. I, also believe, the use of combat drones is a 'crime against humanity.'

I for one get tired of taking my government to task, but it must be done. By the way, whatever happened to all the money that supposedly was raised to help Haiti in the wake of the earthquake disaster?

Some accountability needed here!

Haiti has gone through so much in recent years, some of it because of actions by the US Government, that we have a moral obligation to help. Furthermore, it is in our own interest to control a deadly epidemic so near our shores. Our own problems are small in comparison. To fail to urge the UN to act would be unconscionable.

The New World Order mass murder teams only start epidemics, they have no interest in stopping them.

I strongly urge you to sign-on to this letter. Yes, I know that most of the support comes from your opponents, but it seems to be to be the only humane response to cholera in Haiti.

If you sign-on, I applaud you. If you do not, I would appreciate knowing what your reasoning is.

Thank you.

SOIL Haiti has dry, composting toilets that local people can service. It is so sad that the UN brought in troops, many of whom are from countries more violent than Haiti, rather than supporting s program like SOIL. Please urge the UN to admit what happened and to help.

We should do everything we can to alleviate the cholera epidemic in Haiti. I have lived through such an epidemic in Peru, and it was no fun!! LBB

We need to follow the money from doner governments
to bring results. Better health and homes for the population.

No one has suggested that this infection was intentionally introduced into Haiti, but trying to deny U.N. responsibility is nearly as unconscionable.

No one has suggested that this infection was intentionally introduced into Haiti, but trying to deny U.N. responsibility is nearly as unconscionable.

No one has suggested that this infection was intentionally introduced into Haiti, but trying to deny U.N. responsibility is nearly as unconscionable.

It is important that we, as Americans, acknowledge that our country played a significant role in the weaknesses in Haiti's water and sanitation infrastructure. The U.S. blocked the international loans that would have been used in the construction of these systems. We have a duty to help fund Haiti's water and sanitation systems. A call on the international community for help will be more honored if it is accompanies by a substantial financial contribution to the work.

As your constituent, and as a humanitarian who possesses humane sensibilities, I urge you to sign this letter.

Please sign Congressman Conyer's letter to Ambassador Susan Rice urging the UN to do everything it can to alleviate the cholera crisis in Haiti.

This requires immediate action. thank you for yuor review.

This needs action NOW.

Fasism is creeping closer and closer, isn't it? Lots of Dems like it as much as Repubs. The public wants peace and economic justice.

"It can't Happen Here"..Mussolini called himself a "corporatist".

I would like to see a lot more compassion in foreign policy.

Please support SOIL Haiti and work to put in composting dry toilets that children can maintain and that keep feces out of drinking-water sources. We use these kinds of toilets in U.S. national parks. It is unacceptable that troops were brought into Haiti at great cost, from countries with more violence than Haiti, rather than devoting these resources to safe sanitation that maintains nutrients on land rather than in aquifers and rivers. Please attend to this. Many in Oregon are aware of the work of SOIL. Its executive director has visited, and Nicholas Kristof has a video about them on his website.

I have a brother and sister that are part Haitian, and have been to Haiti twice. This cholera epidemic has seized the dignity of the people, interfering with their daily lives and safety. It is a systemic threat to any type of sustainable recovery from the onslaught of natural and man-made disasters. Please help them to heal the dis-ease we have brought to their shores.

I have a brother and sister that are part Haitian, and have been to Haiti twice. This cholera epidemic has seized the dignity of the people, interfering with their daily lives and safety. It is a systemic threat to any type of sustainable recovery from the onslaught of natural and man-made disasters. Please help them to heal the dis-ease we have brought to their shores.

The world will note and long remember our brutal intervention in Haiti, overturning twice an elected president, and leaving behind the suffering people. Instead of putting to work the funds generously contributed from worldwide well wishers in the wake of the earthquake we seemed intent that nothing should be done for the victims. The final blow was the contamination of the water by UN troops set to guard the earthquake survivors' encampments. Cholera continues to kill Haitians.

The world will note and long remember our brutal intervention in Haiti, overturning twice an elected president, and leaving behind the suffering people. Instead of putting to work the funds generously contributed from worldwide well wishers in the wake of the earthquake we seemed intent that nothing should be done for the victims. The final blow was the contamination of the water by UN troops set to guard the earthquake survivors' encampments. Cholera continues to kill Haitians.4B

We knew within hours of the earthquake, that sanitation and rapidly spreading disease, would soon be rampant. It would (and should have) required immediate action! Shame on us for not doing so.

U.S. treatment of Haiti historically has been unconsionable for a country that claims democratic and humanitarian ideals. With two former Presidents, Clinton and Bush, leading the aid effort, it becomes ever clearer that the U.S. intends to keep Haiti in brutal poverty. The Haitians would be better off if the aid had been given to Haitian-organized community groups. Not the client government the U.S. has helped install. Does Washington think the rest of the world does not notice the difference between what they say, and what they do? Or do they not care? The U.S. is quickly becoming irrelevent in Latin America and the Caribbean, as the South and Central American states form organizations that are not beholden to U.S. corporations & military. It is past time to adopt a 21st Century foreign policy. Ours resembles more the colonial and empire building strategies of 500 years ago.

The aid supposedly given to help the Haitian people went mainly to pay U.S. military intervention there -- so the Haitian people didn't benefit much from U.S. aid, as usual. Facts are the U.S., Canada,and France have a vested interest in stripping Haiti of its mineral wealth and have no intention of allowing free elections or the Haitian people to govern themselves, or alleviate them of their misery in any way. Haiti is a perfect example of the kind of freedom, liberty, and justice The U.S. corporate government brings to countries around the world under the guise of AID.

Two words: SOIL Haiti. Their stairways to heaven are what are needed.

Please channel more resources to SOIL, Sustainable Organic Integrated Livelihoods. a 501(c)3 US-based non-profit organization dedicated to protecting soil resources, empowering communities and transforming wastes into resources in Haiti.

The communities they have already protected need to expand to encompass larger areas.

Thank you for your attention to this urgent matter.

It is about time the UN showed responsibility by helping the Haitian to overcome the cholera imported by the UN Forces to Haiti. It would be a humanitarian act well deserved by the Haitian people. PLEASE ACT NOW TO SZVE THE LIVES OF MANY HAITIANS

There is no justification for not dealing with the cholera problem in Haiti. UN personnel brought the problem into the devastated population, therefore the UN must accept responsibility and move to eliminate the cholera in Haiti.

This needs urgent overdue action. Political will to clean this big public health crisis!!
Thank you

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