New Hope for Haiti
In recent years, the UN's commitment to Haiti has helped to reduce the toll of the cholera epidemic that has been ravaging the country since 2010, while promoting security, stability, and human rights. The international community now must step up to support continued progress in these areas.
NEW YORK – During a recent visit to the rural community of Los Palmas, Haiti, I had the opportunity to talk with families directly affected by the cholera epidemic that has been afflicting the country since the 2010 earthquake. One man explained that not only had the disease killed his sister, but his mother-in-law had also perished as she undertook the hours-long walk to the nearest hospital. He and his wife are now caring for five orphaned nieces and nephews.
In Haiti today, stories like this are not uncommon. Indeed, thousands of people across the country have endured similar trials and tragedies.
But there are also signs of hope. Increased community engagement and changes in hygiene practices have freed the women, men, and children of Los Palmas and the neighboring village of Jacob of cholera – a dramatic reversal from the last few years – and reduced their risk of contracting other water-borne diseases. One family I met, for example, proudly showed me a new water filter.