India contributes $100k to UN for Haiti cholera relief

United Nations, Jan 23 (IANS) India has contributed $100,000 to a UN fund to help Haiti recover from the ravages of a 2010 cholera epidemic that claimed more than 10,000 lives and was blamed on peacekeepers from Nepal.

Ashish Sinha, first secretary in India’s UN, mission handed over the cheque last week to Jennifer Topping, the executive coordinator of the Multi-Partner Trust Fund (MPTF), which administers the Haiti fund.

The UN Haiti Cholera Response Multi-Partner Trust Fund was set up last year in response to criticism about the organisation’s failure to quickly take responsibility for the cholera outbreak attributed to Nepali peacekeepers and improper disposal of human waste that polluted the water supply.

The fund has a target of $200 million to be raised through donations.

The fund says that its aim is to “significantly improve access to care and treatment in short term and also to address issues of water and sanitation and health systems in long term”.

India’s contribution comes after recent disclosures that a contingent sent by India to Haiti peacekeeping operations had not been properly inoculated against cholera, a serious lapse because of the earlier history with Nepali troops.

The Indians are participating in the peacekeeping operations as police.

Stephane Dujarric, the spokesperson for Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, told reporters earlier this month that the peacekeepers who had not been vaccinated against cholera were being inoculated in the field and the country that sent them would be charged for the procedure.

(Arul Louis can be reached at arul.l@ians.in)

–IANS

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