Breaking with the organization’s previous stance, the United Nations admitted last week that it played “some role” in the deadly cholera outbreak in Haiti, and that the organization would take action to address the issue in the next two months. At a briefing on Thursday, U.N. spokesman Farhan Haq stated that the U.N. “must do more regarding its own involvement in the initial outbreak and the suffering of those affected by cholera.’” However, according to the New York Times, this statement by Haq “‘stopped short of saying that the United Nations specifically caused the epidemic.” In fact, the U.N. has claimed diplomatic immunity against any charges relating to the outbreak. This is despite the fact that medical studies have traced the epidemic to infected Nepalese members of the U.N. peacekeeping missions in the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti and inadequate sanitation practices in peacekeeping camps. Since 2010, cholera has “‘killed at least 10,000 people and sickened hundreds of thousands.”’
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