from UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
Published on 12 Nov 2010
(New York/Geneva/Haiti, 12 November 2010): The United Nations and its partners have finalized the Cholera Inter-Sector Response Strategy for Haiti, a plan to support the Government of Haiti's response to the current cholera epidemic. The Strategy includes projects from 42 nongovernmental organisations, five United Nations agencies, and the International Organization for Migration, in support of the Ministry of Public Health and Population (MSPP) and other entities, which is leading the response. The total amount requested is $163,894,856.

The epidemic has spread rapidly since it was first confirmed on 22 October. Well over 12,000 Haitians have been hospitalised so far, and over 800 people have died.

The Strategy anticipates a total of up to 200,000 people expected to show symptoms of cholera ranging from cases of mild diarrhea to the most severe dehydration. This number was calculated based on other countries' experiences, and calculations by the Pan-American Health Organization/World Health Organization and the United States Centers for Disease Control. Cases are expected to appear in a burst of outbreaks that will happen suddenly in different parts of the country. Epidemiologists anticipate that the epidemic will continue to spread throughout the country and resources will need to be mobilized for at least six months.

The Strategy has several elements, including public communications outreach, rapid operational response, access to health services for those affected, disease surveillance, supporting and strengthening the national response, ensuring clean water, and providing safe sanitation and waste management for high risk areas. The largest financial component of the Strategy is for water, sanitation and hygiene ($89 million), followed by health ($43 million) and camp coordination and camp management ($19 million).

"A major effort has already been made, but the sheer quantity of relief items that need to be delivered in the days and weeks ahead is going to require more logistical and financial support for the Government by all humanitarian agencies and donors and very close coordination," said Nigel Fisher, Humanitarian Coordinator in Haiti. "Without this the epidemic could well outrun our efforts," he said.

For further information, please call:

OCHA-Haiti: Nicholas Reader, +509 3491 2244, mobile +1 646 752 3117, reader@un.org

OCHA-New York: Stephanie Bunker, +1 917 367 5126, mobile +1 347 244 2106, bunker@un.org

OCHA-Geneva: Elisabeth Byrs, +41 22 917 2653, mobile +41 79 473 4570, byrs@un.org

OCHA press releases are available at http://ochaonline.un.org or www.reliefweb.int

For more information about CERF, please see http://cerf.un.org

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs:

To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit http://unocha.org/.