UNICEF Appeals For $150 Million For 11 African Countries Facing Cholera Outbreak

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) on Friday said eleven countries in eastern and southern parts of Africa are currently experiencing an exponential increase in the number of cholera cases amid a surge in deaths, reported CGTN Africa.

According to UNICEF, 11 countries are experiencing an extremely worrying cholera outbreak with 67,822 cases and 1,788 estimated deaths. However, actual figures are likely higher as limitations in surveillance systems, underreporting, and stigma hampers monitoring.

Malawi and Mozambique are the two countries that account for a combined total of more than 5.4 million people in need of support, including more than 2.8 million children.

 ‘We thought this region won’t see a cholera outbreak this widespread and this deadly in this day and age’, UNICEF Deputy Regional Director, Lieke van de Wiel, said in a statement.

She added that poor water and sanitation conditions, extreme weather events, ongoing conflicts, and weak health systems are compounding and endangering the lives of children across southern Africa.

Last month, the World Health Organization warned that 22 countries around the world are currently fighting cholera outbreaks — a number that has since increased following additional outbreaks.

The number of cholera cases globally has declined over the years, but, cases went up in 2022 and were expected to continue to do so this year.

UNICEF has appealed for a total of $150 million for all 11 countries facing the cholera outbreak, including $34.9 million for Malawi and $21.6 million for Mozambique, to provide lifesaving aid to a total of 5.4 million people affected by the outbreak.

Van de Wiel said it is a serious cholera crisis, and warned that it is likely to get much worse. She said urgent and sustained investment is needed to respond to the immediate outbreaks and strengthen systems and communities to be better prepared for more severe occurrences in the future.

Caroline Finnegan

A professionnal journalist for the past ten years, I cover global news and economic affairs for The Chief Observer.

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