Over 25,000 Sign Oliver Stone Petition Demanding UN Action Now to Eliminate Cholera in Haiti

For Immediate Release
January 11, 2013

Media Contacts:
Robert Naiman, 217-979-2857, naiman@justforeignpolicy.org
Megan Iorio, 908-400-9480, iorio@justforeignpolicy.org

Over 25,000 Sign Oliver Stone Petition Demanding UN Action Now to Eliminate Cholera in Haiti

WASHINGTON, DC, Jan 11—As Haiti observes the three-year commemoration of the tragic earthquake of January 2010, over 25,000 people have signed onto a petition calling on the United Nations to help Haiti eliminate the deadly cholera epidemic which UN troops brought to the country over two years ago. The petition, which urges UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to lead efforts to mobilize the resources needed to rid Haiti of cholera, was launched last December by Just Foreign Policy and filmmaker Oliver Stone.

Cholera has killed over 7,900 people and sickened over 900,000 since the disease first emerged in October 2010. Though independent scientific studies and the UN Special envoy for Haiti, Bill Clinton, have recognized that UN troops were responsible for introducing the disease, the UN has yet to take responsibility.

On December 11th, following months of grassroots pressure, Ban Ki-moon announced his support for a plan that would eliminate cholera by providing Haiti with adequate water and sanitation infrastructure. But only 10% of the plan’s funding has been secured so far and no steps have yet been taken to begin building this infrastructure.

Robert Naiman, Policy Director of Just Foreign Policy said, “Over two years have passed since UN troops brought cholera to Haiti, and still no concrete action has been taken to begin ridding Haiti of this devastating epidemic. The UN, through grossly negligent screening and waste disposal practices, is responsible for this mess. It needs to move immediately and decisively before thousands more Haitians die.”

The petition, addressed to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, states:

We call on you to take urgent steps to help Haiti acquire clean water and sanitation infrastructure so as to eliminate cholera from the country. We urge you to use your position as head of the United Nations to lead international efforts to mobilize the funds and technical resources required to achieve this urgent task in the shortest time frame possible.

The petition’s simple demand echoes that of Haitian grassroots groups and 104 members of the U.S. Congress, who signed on to a letter initiated by Representative John Conyers (D – MI) asking Ambassador Susan Rice to urge the UN to take a leading role in addressing Haiti’s cholera crisis. Last month alone, over 190 Haitians lost their lives to cholera according to Haiti’s health authorities.

The petition is here:

End Haiti's Killer Cholera Epidemic -- UN Action Now!
http://www.avaaz.org/en/petition/End_Haitis_Cholera_Epidemic_with_UN_Action_Now_1/

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