Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Haiti witnesses declining cholera rates, significant gains in development

UN News Centre: Haiti, often cited as one of the least developed countries in the Western Hemisphere, has reached – or nearly reached – several of the Millennium Development Goals ahead of the 2015 deadline, according to a report launched by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) a month ago.

Among other achievements, the country has seen a steady boost in enrollment rates in primary education from 47 per cent in 1993 to nearly 90 per cent, achieving equal participation of boys and girls in education. Haiti has also halved the number of underweight children under the age of five some three years ahead of the 2015 deadline.

As Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon wrapped up a visit to the Caribbean nation earlier this week, poverty reduction was a central theme in his discussions with UN officials and Haitian authorities. It is also a priority for the Government. Haitian Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe recently remarked, “Our initiatives will be increasingly strengthened and we invite civil society to join us in the fight against poverty and to improve Haitians’ living conditions.”

Since the quake, which killed at least 200,000 people, UNDP reports that 97 per cent of the debris has been removed from the streets; 11,000 displaced families have been relocated and 50 camps housing the displaced have been closed; and more than 4,000 metres of river bank protection structures have been constructed to guard against flooding.

Haitian and international efforts have succeeded in significantly reducing the toll from the cholera epidemic, reflected in a 74 per cent decrease in the number of new cases so far this year, while Haitian communities are rebuilding, recovering and becoming more resilient to future catastrophes four years after the devastating 2010 earthquake....

At the clinic in Haiti, shot by Alex Proimos, Wikimedia Commons via Flickr, under the Creative Commons 2.0 license

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