Ever since United Nations peacekeepers introduced a devastating cholera epidemic to Haiti in 2010, Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has insisted that the global body is immune from legal claims. In the past few months, he has acknowledged a “moral responsibility” for the epidemic, but he has stopped short of saying sorry.
Now, with barely two months left in his term, Mr. Ban’s administration is scrambling to compensate, for the first time, those who have suffered, with a plan to give them or their communities cash payments from a proposed $400 million cholera response package. He also wants to make good on an unfulfilled promise to eradicate cholera from Haiti as the disease continues to claim lives.
But the United Nations does not have the money it needs for the proposed package, and is facing criticism that it is still avoiding legal culpability for one of the worst calamities to ever befall Haiti, the Western Hemisphere’s poorest country.
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