201573 Right to Water in Haiti

Tuesday, November 10, 2009: 9:10 AM

Donna Barry, NP MPH , Partners In Health, Cambridge, MA
Amanda Klasing , RFK Memorial Center for Human Rights, Washington, DC
Jude Jean , Zanmi Lasante/Partners In Health, Boston, MA
Margaret Satterthwaite , Center for Human Rights and Global Justice, NYU School of Law, New York, NY
Monika Kalra Varma , RFK Memorial Center for Human Rights, Washington, DC
Loune Viaud , Chief of Operations, Zanmi Lasante/Partners in Health, Boston, MA
Evan Lyon, MD , Partners In Health, Boston, MA
Mary Kay Smith Fawzi, ScD , Department of Social Medicine / Program in Infectious Disease and Social Change, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA
Several years ago, the RFK Memorial Center for Human Rights, Center for Human Rights and Global Justice at NYU School of Law, Partners In Health and Zanmi Lasante began a unique collaboration to investigate the role of the United States in blocking loans to Haiti from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) which were slated to improve water and sanitation. The collaboration united experts in human rights, law, public health and healthcare and consisted of FOIA requests, exhaustive legal and document reviews, a public health study in one of the communities scheduled to receive a loan, and culminated in the release of a report documenting the connections between health, water and human rights in Haiti. The findings from this report include conclusive evidence that U.S. interference in the release of the IDB loans led to reduced access to clean water by citizens in Haiti and a clear violation of Haitians' human rights. In addition, the public health study confirms reduced access to water leading to poor health outcomes. Results from the investigation and study will be presented and highlight how high-level political obstruction results in disease and suffering of those persons whose rights should be protected by donor governments and international financial institutions. In addition, the unique human rights and public health approach will be described and updated to reflect current activities to improve access to water in Haiti.

Learning Objectives:
1 - Explain the results of a unique collaboration between organizations working in public health and human rights 2 - Demonstrate US involvement in blocking loans to Haiti resulting in poor access to clean water 2- Describe the results of a study commpleted in Haiti showing poor access to clean water

Keywords: Water, International

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: i was directly involved in this work
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.