Washington, D.C., April 9, 2012 (PAHO/WHO) – The Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO), in coordination with the Government of Haiti and health organizations operating in the country, is calling on donors to resume funding for the country’s humanitarian response. This call for funding emphasizes the importance of boosting the response to cholera before the rainy and hurricane seasons arrive in Haiti.
The departure of organizations supporting humanitarian efforts in Haiti and the scaling down of operations due to lack of funding are of particular concern to health organizations and the Haitian government. PAHO/WHO is asking international cooperation agencies to remain vigilant and attentive to the risk of cholera outbreaks in the near future.
Important results have been achieved with funding provided by the international community, including a decrease in the number of cholera cases in Haiti and the provision of health services to people living in displacement camps.
PAHO/WHO advocates for the continuation of emergency and humanitarian activities, as Haiti continues to remain exposed to numerous hazards (hurricanes, earthquakes, and disease outbreaks) and has limited capacity to respond to potential new emergencies. This ongoing support will help to preserve public health gains already achieved and will facilitate the continuation of health initiatives aimed at strengthening Haiti’s internal capacity.
The need for a coordinated response was highlighted in the Consolidated Appeal for Haiti launched in December 2011. The Consolidated Appeals Process, known as CAP, is a tool used to raise funds for humanitarian action and enables stakeholder organizations to jointly plan, coordinate, implement, and monitor their activities.
In January, the presidents of Haiti and the Dominican Republic joined PAHO/WHO, UNICEF, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in a “Call to Action: A Cholera-free Hispaniola,” urging major international investments in water and sanitation infrastructure to eliminate cholera from Hispaniola. The resumption of humanitarian funding is a cornerstone in the overall strategy to eliminate cholera from the island.
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