UN chief in Haiti to launch sanitation program

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has arrived in rural Haiti to help launch a program to improve sanitation and fight the spread of cholera.

An outbreak of the disease that followed Haiti's devastating earthquake in 2010 has killed more than 8,500 people and sickened at least 700,000.

Scientific studies have shown cholera likely was introduced in Haiti by U.N. peacekeepers from Nepal, where the disease is endemic.

Earlier this year, nearly 1,500 Haitians filed a lawsuit seeking compensation from the U.N. A previous claim by cholera victims was rejected by Ban, who cited diplomatic immunity.

In 2012, Ban announced a $2.2 billion initiative to help eradicate cholera in Haiti.

He is visiting a village in central Haiti with Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe to launch the sanitation effort.

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