EU and UNICEF working together to prevent and control cholera in Zimbabwe

HARARE, Zimbabwe, 29 November 2018 – The European Union has contributed €400,000 to support UNICEF’s response to Zimbabwe’s cholera outbreak.

The contribution will fund critical water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) activities to address the challenges driving the epidemic. In cholera-affected and high-risk areas, over 250,000 people are expected to benefit from disinfection of water sources and follow-up on cholera cases with hygiene promotion and support materials including soap.

UNICEF is collaborating with the City of Harare and non-governmental organization (NGO) partners to respond to the outbreak. With Government, UNICEF co-chairs the WASH Emergency Strategic Advisory Group (E-SAG) to coordinate the response.

“With the imminent onset of seasonal rains, this European Commission contribution is timely to cut cholera transmission, help reduce the risk of future cholera outbreaks and mobilise communities around prevention and response activities,” said UNICEF Regional Director for East and Southern Africa, Leila Pakkala.

The current outbreak began in Zimbabwe on 5 September 2018, with the epicentre in the Glenview and Budiriro suburbs of Harare, the result of a local borehole reportedly contaminated with sewage leaking from burst pipes.

“We are committed to help those in need in Zimbabwe. We are stepping up our efforts to address the outbreak of cholera. We will do everything to prevent the spread of this disease and stop it as soon as possible,” said Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Christos Stylianides.

To date, almost 10,000 suspected cases and over 50 deaths have been recorded in the current cholera outbreak. Ongoing intensive interventions, including contact tracing and case investigations, have helped to reduce new cases from hundreds to tens per day.


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About the EU’s humanitarian aid

The European Union and its Member States are the world's leading donor of humanitarian aid. Relief assistance is an expression of European solidarity with people in need all around the world. It aims to save lives, prevent and alleviate human suffering, and safeguard the integrity and human dignity of populations affected by natural disasters and man-made crises.

Through its Civil Protection and Humanitarian aid Operations department (ECHO), the European Union helps millions of victims of conflict and disasters every year. With headquarters in Brussels and a global network of field offices, the EU provides assistance to the most vulnerable people on the basis of humanitarian needs, without discrimination of race, ethnic group, religion, gender, age, nationality or political affiliation.

For more information, please contact:

UNICEF Zimbabwe:

Denise Shepherd-Johnson,; Tel: +263 772 124 268

European Commission:

Anouk Delafortrie, Tel: +254 722 791 604