Lack of funds slows response to cholera


Cholera outbreak in Malawi. File photo

from MAVHUTO BANDA in Lilongwe, Malawi
Malawi Bureau
LILONGWE, (CAJ News) – MORE than 28 million people are in need in East and Southern Africa as the region battles one of the worst cholera outbreaks.

The outbreak has degenerated into an emergency for children.

Burundi, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa, Somalia, South Sudan, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe are battling outbreaks.

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) is urgently calling for funding of US$171 million to respond to the increasing needs of children and families in the regions impacted by cholera.

This is to provide lifesaving water and sanitation, health, risk communication, nutrition, child protection and education services to women and children affected by the outbreak.

Unfortunately, UNICEF has a regional funding gap of 89 percent, which is limiting its ability to meet the full requirements.

“For UNICEF and its partners to respond quickly and equitably based on need, especially in underfunded sectors, flexible resources will play a critical role,” said a spokesperson.

Generous partners have already contributed $18,3 million to support the cholera response.

UNICEF is developing individualised response plans based on the unique conditions within each affected country.

The budgets for both Malawi and Mozambique include requirements to address each country’s recent cyclone-related flooding, given that flooding is a priority compounding risk to the spread of cholera.

Both Southern African countries were hit by Cyclone Freddy recently.

The storm left over 500 people dead in Malawi, where cholera has killed more than 1 600 people since late last year.

– CAJ News



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