UN urges urgent funds to help Haiti fight cholera

23rd November 2010, Comments 1 comment

The United Nations called Tuesday for urgent funding for Haiti, amid a shortfall in financing to help the country cope with a widening cholera epidemic.

Donors have stumped up only 6.8 million dollars so far out of 164 million dollars sought by the UN in an appeal 10 days ago, said Elisabeth Byrs, spokeswoman for the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

"The funding is much too weak. It's an extremely urgent situation, a question of hours. The epidemic is not waiting and continuing to evolve," she warned.

She added that relief material and medication had to be restocked urgently, and that exhausted aid workers needed some respite.

An average of 130 people are required to run a cholera treatment centre with 100 beds, she explained.

Cholera is still spreading in the island where 23,377 people have been hospitalised and 1,344 have died from the illness, according to data from Haitian authorities.

Some 36 cholera treatment centres are running in Haiti, with 61 smaller units reinforcing their effort.

The UN also stressed that educating the public about the illness was crucial, as some people, including pregnant women, are refusing to go to hospitals for fear of contracting cholera.

© 2010 AFP

1 Comment To This Article

  • Jistis posted:

    on 23rd November 2010, 19:47:50 - Reply

    Cholera in Haiti: Is the United Nations Mission trying to cover up the origin of the epidemic? By Stanley Lucas
    Before and after the January 12 earthquake that devastated Haiti, the country was cholera-free -- it never appeared on the global list of countries contaminated by cholera. That all changed in mid-October this year when a cholera outbreak was registered in the lower Central Plateau immediately giving rise to many theories on the origin of the outbreak. Recent developments pinpoint the source to the Nepalese base of United Nations Mission (MINUSTAH) in Haiti. For more detais click here: http://solutionshaiti.blogspot.com/2010/11/cholera-in-haiti-is-united-nations.htm