Accra, Ghana, 6 September, 2012 — The United Nations in Ghana has received a grant of US$312.440 (Three hundred and twelve thousand four hundred and forty dollars) to boost a joint UN system humanitarian response to the cholera outbreak in five regions of the country.
Since January 2012, about 5,121 cases, including 50 fatalities, have been reported in Greater Accra, Brong Ahafo, Eastern, Western and Upper East regions. The epidemic has been fuelled by poor sanitation, lack of public awareness and the onset of the rainy season, which has led to the contamination of drinking-water sources.
Following a request from the Ghana UN Country Team based on the severity of the humanitarian crisis and the need to respond to the emergency, United Nations Emergency Relief Coordinator, Valerie Amos authorized the allocation of the grant through the Rapid Response Window of the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF).
Two members of the UN Country Team – UNICEF and the World Health Organization (WHO) – have received $201,160 and $111,280 respectively. UNICEF will use its allocation for Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) activities, including the provision of safe drinking water, strengthening cholera detection, reporting and case and data management, as well as for national public information and social mobilization activities. UNICEF-supported interventions will target 40,000 people, with an emphasis on schools to address children’s vulnerability. WHO activities will enhance early cholera detection through community-based surveillance and prompt clinical diagnosis.
The CERF is a humanitarian fund established by the United Nations to enable more timely and reliable humanitarian assistance to those affected by natural disasters and armed conflicts. The CERF provides seed funds to jump-start critical operations and fund life-saving programmes not yet covered by other donors. It is intended to complement - not to substitute - existing humanitarian funding mechanisms such as the UN Consolidated Appeals The fund is replenished annually through contributions from governments, the private sector, foundations and individuals and constitutes a pool of reserve funding to support humanitarian action.