MCC Photo/Ted Oswald

Victims and families affected by cholera gathered last year to protest at the UN base in Port au Prince, Haiti.

Accountability for cholera epidemic in Haiti

In a display of bipartisan support, 158 members of the House of Representatives signed a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry urging the U.S. to use its influence and leverage with the United Nations (UN) to ensure accountability for Haitian cholera victims.

The letter, sponsored by Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) and Rep. Mia Love (R-Utah), calls on Kerry to use his diplomatic powers to ensure that the UN takes immediate steps to eliminate the cholera epidemic introduced in Haiti through leaking waste from a UN peacekeeper camp in 2010. These steps should include improving water and sanitation infrastructure and discussing compensation for victims.

Find a press release and more information on Haiti’s cholera situation here.

Policy updates

Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC): On July 14, 2016, Senate Resolution 485, introduced by Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), was amended to include the need for a constructive dialogue. Such a dialogue would encourage an uninterrupted electoral process, a peaceful transition of power and would reduce the risk of violence and conflict in the eastern DRC.

Supreme Court immigration case: On July 18 the U.S. Department of Justice requested a rehearing from the Supreme Court on president Obama’s executive action for immigrants. If granted, the case would be decided in 2017 after a ninth justice is confirmed. Otherwise, the case will go back to the lower courts and wind its way back up to the Supreme Court. More information | MCC statement

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Staff updates

On July 14 Ervin Stutzman, executive director of Mennonite Church USA, visited the White House as part of an interfaith delegation raising concerns about drone warfare. Stutzman also met with House Judiciary Chair Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) to discuss immigration issues.

On August 4, staff hosted a group of students from Iowa Mennonite High School in Kalona, Iowa.