Laurent Lamothe, the prime minister of Haiti, spoke at the United Nations on Wednesday about the cholera outbreak that has killed thousands and was blamed on U.N. peacekeepers.
Lamothe said that the outbreak is under control but did not discuss the accusations that Nepalese peacekeepers started the epidemic in the first place. The prime minister expressed gratitude for the world body’s help after it began a mission in Haiti in 2004, Reuters reports.
“We like to think on the positive side, we are the eternal optimists,” Lamothe said, according to Reuters. “You need that in Haiti to run a country that’s been mismanaged for the past 30 years. You need a lot of optimism and a lot of will to do the right thing.”
An earthquake leveled Haiti in January 2010, killing approximately 300,000 people and leaving an additional 1.5 million homeless. Since October 2010, the Haitian cholera outbreak has sickened approximately 600,000 people and killed more than 7,400.
Since the earthquake, only half of the $5.5 billion pledged by the international community at a 2010 fundraising conference found its way to Haiti.
“We are working at remobilizing, re-energizing the donor community at least to fulfill the commitment they had made,” Lamothe said, according to Reuters. “Haiti’s destruction was estimated at $12.5 billion, out of which right now we received a fraction of that. We want it to go through the Haitian government. The Haitian government will allocate it and work together with the different communities on the ground.”