Film maker Oliver Stone launches AVAAZ petition to demand UN act to end cholera epidemic it caused
5 December 2012
For over two years, the people of Haiti have been fighting a deadly cholera epidemic that has killed thousands and infected hundreds of thousands more. Independent scientific studies have indicated that this devastating outbreak was caused by a strain of cholera introduced to Haiti by United Nations troops. Cholera is a waterborne illness that is easily treatable, but for those who lack access to clean water and medical care, it can kill in a matter of hours.
The spread of cholera in Haiti can be halted if the international community works collectively to develop clean water and sanitation infrastructure for Haiti. According to media reports, a cholera elimination plan developed jointly by the Haitian government and UN agencies is about to be unveiled. In the next few days, we have the opportunity to press the UN to make sure that this plan receives full funding and international support to ensure that Haiti gets the infrastructure it needs to defeat cholera.
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Why this is important
The people of Haiti are fighting a deadly cholera epidemic introduced by UN troops that has killed thousands and sickened hundreds of thousands more. Since it caused this catastrophe, let’s push the UN to help Haitians stamp out killer cholera for good.
Since it began in October 2010, Haiti’s cholera epidemic has killed over 7,700 and brought untold suffering to poor communities, as the prize-winning documentary “Baseball in the Time of Cholera” vividly depicts. Although doctors, scientists, and even UN Special Envoy Bill Clinton recognize that UN troops brought the epidemic to Haiti, the organization has refused to take responsibility.
According to news reports, key players – including the Haitian government, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Pan-American Health Organization and UNICEF – are launching a plan to respond to cholera with medical treatment and water and sanitation infrastructure. This is an important step in the right direction, but it is a slow step – two years after the outbreak – and a tentative one, with only a tiny fraction of funding secured so far. At the current pace thousands more Haitians will die before their communities receive clean water. The UN mast act faster, and it must act now.
We have no time to lose. A spike in cholera cases has been reported after Hurricane Sandy. Together we can save lives and help Haitians finally rid the island of this killer, if we act now. Sign this urgent petition and share it with everyone you know. We’ll deliver it directly to the Secretary General.
Oliver Stone is an award-winning filmmaker, director most recently of the documentary series The Untold History of the United States on Showtime, and director of JFK, Nixon, Platoon, Salvador and more. Just Foreign Policy is a non-profit, non-partisan membership organization working to reform U.S. foreign policy so it reflects the values and interests of the majority of Americans.
SIGN THIS PETITION
We call on you to take urgent steps to help Haiti acquire clean water and sanitation infrastructure so as to eliminate cholera from the country. We urge you to use your position as head of the United Nations to lead international efforts to mobilize the funds and technical resources required to achieve this urgent task in the shortest time frame possible.