“For decades, water and sanitation have been neglected in Haiti, with serious consequences for public health,” Ban told donors during the conference. “Without safe water and adequate sanitation, people die from preventable waterborne illnesses, including diarrhea. Malnutrition rates worsen, stunting not only a child’s development but that of the country itself. Children, especially girls, stay out of school.“We now need to catch up. We must help the Haitian people. We must bring access to water, sanitation, and healthcare within reach of every Haitian,” he said.Donors are backing the plan that targets 16 priority communities with the highest rates of cholera. They agreed with the Haitian government’s approach and the need to involve local communities.Some 38 percent of Haitians lack access to safe drinking water, and only 24 percent of Haitian families have access to improved sanitation, according to World Bank officials.That reality has helped the rapid spread of a deadly cholera outbreak, which has killed thousands and infected more than a half-million Haitians since arriving in the country four years ago this month. via | The Miami Herald.
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