Humanitarian agency Church World Service joined with American Jewish World Service (AJWS), Environmental Justice Initiative for Haiti, The Episcopal Church, Gender Action, Global Justice Clinic, Grassroots International, Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti, Other Worlds, Oxfam America, TransAfrica and Unitarian Universalist Service Committee, in releasing the following statement in response to the launch of the United Nations’ “Initiative for the Elimination of Cholera in Haiti”:
As U.S-based development, religious and human rights organizations, we applaud the United Nations’ Secretary-General’s announcement as a critical step on the road to clean water and sanitation for the island of Hispaniola. In particular, we would like to thank the U.S. Mission for its leadership as well as Representative Conyers and the 103 other representatives who called for UN action.
This, however, is only the beginning. Without long-term funding and leadership, the vision of this plan will not be realized. We call on all donors from across the world to commit to this project now. Support for the development of basic infrastructure and a strong health system will help the Haitian government protect and promote the universal right to the highest attainable standard of health and prevent the spread of other water-borne diseases.
Successful implementation will require working closely with civil society organizations and local communities. These projects must be done in concert with those who will benefit, particularly women who are overwhelmingly responsible for providing water for their families. These projects must also be designed to ensure that they will remain sustainable long after international attention and funding ends.
We welcome UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s leadership and commitment to successfully eradicating cholera from Hispaniola. This signals progress towards the UN living up to its unique responsibility to ensure that Hispaniola is once again free of cholera.
We will be monitoring progress to ensure the plan is fully-funded and benefits the most marginalized populations.
U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon announced the anti-cholera initiative on Dec. 12.