Washington, D.C., 27 June 2012 (PAHO/WHO)—The Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) is presenting a photography exhibit entitled “Water, Health, and Hope in Hispaniola” in the Marcus Garvey Hall of Culture at the Organization of American States (OAS) from 29 June through 3 July. The opening ceremony will be held on Friday, 29 June at 2:00 p.m. The gallery is open to the public from 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.
See all photos in the exhibit
The exhibit consists of 20 photographs taken in Haiti and the Dominican Republic by PAHO/WHO photographers. Most of the pictures were taken during the emergency response to the January 2010 earthquake and the cholera outbreak that followed a few months later. They depict the daily hardships that Haitians face in their efforts to obtain water and the lack of access to clean water and sanitation.
On 11 January of this year, the presidents of Haiti and the Dominican Republic, together with representatives from PAHO/WHO, UNICEF, and the CDC, issued a call to action to eliminate cholera from the two countries. They called upon countries and donor agencies to support the elimination of cholera from the island through new investments in water and sanitation infrastructure and to keep the promises made in this regard following the 2010 earthquake in Haiti.
The next step is to create the Regional Coalition for Water and Sanitation to Eliminate Cholera from the Island of Hispaniola, which will bring together the necessary technical expertise, raise new funds, and mobilize the funds already pledged.
The photo exhibit at the OAS is being presented in conjunction with the launch of the Regional Coalition on 29 June. The scenes featured in these images include a community in Haiti organized around a well that is their only source of water and families waiting to fill containers with water from tanker trucks.
Before the January 2010 earthquake, only 69% of Haitians had access to clean drinking water. Access to basic sanitation in Haiti had declined from 26% of the population in 1990 to 17% in 2010.
PAHO, which is celebrating its 110th anniversary this year, is the oldest public health organization in the world. It works with all countries of the Americas to improve the health and quality of life of their peoples and serves as the Regional Office for the Americas of the World Health Organization (WHO).
Donna Eberwine-Villagran, Phone. +1 202 974 3122, Cell: +1 202 316 5469, Sonia Mey-Schmidt, Phone. + 1 202 974 3036, Cell: +1 202 251 2646, Knowledge Management and Communication, PAHO/WHO.