United Nations apologises to people of Haiti for cholera epidemic

Dec 2, 2016 14:05 IST

The United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on 1 December 2016 apologised for the first time to the people of Haiti for its role in the 2010 cholera outbreak in the country.

The Secretary-General expressed deep regret for the loss of life caused by the disease. He stated, “On behalf of the United Nations, I want to say very clearly: we apologise to the Haitian people.”

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The 2010 Cholera Outbreak in Haiti

  • As per the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the ongoing Haiti cholera outbreak is the worst epidemic of cholera in recent history.
  • The country has been dealing with a cholera outbreak since October 2010, some nine months after it suffered a devastating earthquake.
  • The outbreak began in mid October 2010 in the rural Center Department of Haiti.
  • The outbreak occurred ten months after a powerful earthquake which devastated the nation's capital and southern towns on 12 January 2010.
  • It is widely believed to have been introduced by Nepalese peacekeepers from the UN.
  • The peacekeepers lived on a base that often leaked waste into a river, and the first cholera cases in the country appeared in Haitians who lived nearby.
  • The outbreak has affected an estimated 788000 people and claimed the lives of more than 9000 people in the country.

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