The United Nations Peacekeeping operation in Haiti, MINUSTAH by its French acronym, has been the target of recent popular protests and a source of controversy because of its role in re-introducing cholera to Haiti, the sexual assault of a young Haitian man and other past abuses. On November 3, 2011 the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti and Bureau des Avocats Internationaux filed a legal complaint on behalf of over 5,000 cholera victims seeking damages from the United Nations. The UN has so far not responded or given a timetable for a response.
Here is MINUSTAH, by the numbers:
Percent of worldwide UN peacekeepers that are in Haiti, despite it not being a war zone: 12.5
Number of MINUSTAH troops (military and police) currently in Haiti: 12,552
Rank in size among the 16 UN peacekeeping operations worldwide: 3
Rank in size of Darfur and the Democratic Republic of Congo, respectively: 1, 2
Percent of Haiti’s annual government expenditures to which MINUSTAH’s budget is equivalent: 50
Percent of Haiti’s GDP to which MINUSTAH’s budget is equivalent: 10.7
Total estimated cost of MINUSTAH since the earthquake: $1,556,461,550
Percent of UN peacekeeping operations worldwide funded by the United States: 27
Percent the U.S. has disbursed out of its $1.15 billion pledge at the March 2010 donor conference: 18.8
Percent of the U.S.’ contributions to MINUSTAH since the earthquake that this represents: 41
Factor by which MINUSTAH’s budget exceeds the amount of funds the UN’s cholera appeal has raised: 8
Percent of MINUSTAH’s budget it would take to fully fund the UN’s cholera appeal: 1.7
Number of days operating expenses it would take to fund a cholera vaccination campaign that would cover the entire country: 18
Percent of a single day’s MINUSTAH budget that the cholera vaccination pilot program will use over its multiple-week lifespan: 40
Minimum number of people killed from cholera in Haiti since October 2010: 6,908
Number of people killed by homicide in Haiti in 2010: 689
Number of people, per 10 million (roughly the population of Haiti), killed by homicide in Brazil, the largest troop contributor to MINUSTAH: 2,270
Number of cholera victims who filed a claim with the UN seeking damages: 5,000
Number of cholera victims: 513,997
Rate per minute that Haitians were falling ill with cholera in July 2011: 1
Amount by which MINUSTAH’s budget exceeds the UN’s 2012 humanitarian appeal for Haiti: $562,517,100
Number of MINUSTAH personnel who were repatriated this year after a cell phone video emerged showing troops sexually assaulting a young Haitian man: 5
Number of successful prosecutions against over 100 MINUSTAH troops repatriated to Sri Lanka after allegations of involvement in child prostitution surfaced in 2007: 0
Number of standing claims commissions set up by the UN under Status of Forces Agreements so that local population may have means of redress from peacekeepers, historically: 0
Years MINUSTAH has been in Haiti: 7
Shortfall in trained national police officers that are supposed to take over for MINUSTAH: 10,000
Rank among Haiti’s top donors, including governments, that MINUSTAH would be if its budget went towards relief and reconstruction efforts: 3
Date on which cholera was discovered: October 21, 2010
Date the head of MINUSTAH was reported saying it was “really unfair” to accuse the UN of bringing cholera to Haiti: November 22, 2010
Distance, in miles, from the Nepalese MINUSTAH base to the location of the first reported case of cholera: .1
Date on which scientific paper confirmed that Haitian and Nepalese samples of cholera were "almost identical": August 23, 2011
Days since the cholera outbreak it has taken for the UN to accept responsibility: 413 (and counting)
Date on which MINUSTAH’s mandate was extended through 2012: October 14, 2011
Percent of Haitians in a recent survey who said they wanted MINUSTAH gone within a year: 65
(CEPR; 8 December 2011. www.cepr.net)
1. According to the United Nations there are currently 99,329 uniformed peacekeeping troops across the World. In Haiti there are 12,552.
3. United Nations Peacekeeping.
4. United Nations Peacekeeping Fact Sheet.
5. IMF data and MINUSTAH.
6. IMF data and MINUSTAH.
7. The 2009/10 budget was $611,751,200, the 2010/11 budget was $853,827,400 and the 2011/2012 budget is $793,517,100. To reach the total since the earthquake, half of the 2009/10 total was added to the entire 2010/2011 total and to half of the 2011/2012 total. Data from UN Peacekeeping.
8. U.S. and Europe fight over cuts in peacekeeping, from Foreign Policy’s Turtle Bay blog.
9. UN Office of the Special Envoy for Haiti.
10. See 7 and 8, above.
11. According to the United Nations Office of Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, $95 million has been contributed to the cholera appeal.
12. The cholera appeal is seeking $109 million, leaving a shortfall of $14 million.
13. Estimated cost of a cholera vaccination program covering the entire country is $40 million.
14. The cost of the pilot cholera vaccination program is about $870,000.
15. Ministère de la santé publique et de la population.
16. United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.
17. United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.
18. Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti.
19. Ministère de la santé publique et de la population.
20. Jake Johnston and Keane Bhatt, Not Doing Enough: Unnecessary Sickness and Death from Cholera in Haiti. CEPR.
21. The UN’s 2012 Humanitarian Appeal for Haiti is for $231 million.
22. UN peacekeepers to be deported from Haiti, UN Media.
23. Greg Grandin and Keane Bhatt, 10 Reasons Why the UN Occupation of Haiti Must End. The Nation.
24. Amy Lieberman, Haiti Cholera Case Raises Questions About U.N. Accountability. World Politics Review.
26. It is estimated that Haiti needs 20,000 trained police, they currently have around 10,000.
27. UN Office of the Special Envoy for Haiti.
28. Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti.
29. Jessica Desvarieux, TIME: At the Heart of Haiti’s Cholera Riots, Anger at the U.N.
30. Final Report of the Independent Panel of Experts on the Cholera Outbreak in Haiti.
31. The UN continues to deny responsibility.
33. Gordon and Young, Columbia University. Although the headline reads “Survey Shows 60% of Haitians Support Troubled Peacekeeping Mission”, the data shows that 30% want immediate withdrawal, 10% want withdrawal within 6 months and an additional 25% want withdrawal within a year.