Cholera in Haiti

Media release

16 December 2012

Australia will deliver $500,000 for the urgent provision of drinking water, sanitation and handwashing stations for Haitians at risk from cholera in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy in October.

Foreign Minister Bob Carr said there were 837 reported cholera cases in Haiti since the Hurricane, raising the risk of an epidemic that may also spread to neighbouring countries.

"Hurricane Sandy has had a devastating impact on Haiti," Senator Carr said.

"At least 54 people died and 6,200 homes were destroyed.

"More than 1.5 million Haitians are without adequate food, and water supplies have become polluted with runoff and wastes.

"The Caribbean community has sought our aid in reducing the spread of cholera caused by groundwater contamination.

"I'm proud that Australia is able to assist with this $500,000 contribution for Haitian services like toilet blocks, drinking water and handwashing facilities.

"Further assistance would be considered after talks between my Department and Haitian authorities in the next few days."

"It's what Australians do – helping those in need in the wake of crippling natural disasters and at risk from famine or disease."

Australia's $500,000 contribution would be provided to the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and implemented through the International Organisation of Migration (IOM).

It complements health and cholera services provided by Ausaid in response to the 2010 Haitian earthquake, and brings total Australian aid for Haiti in the last two years to $26.7 million.

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