Zimbabwe has on Monday received a US$1 million grant from the African Development Bank (AfDb) to combat a deadly cholera outbreak that began three months ago.
The southern African country has been grappling with an outbreak of cholera since September and the disease has spread to more than 15 districts.
AfDB country manager Damoni Kitabire said the grant would be distributed through the World Health Organisation (WHO).
“In our view, this is a crisis worth fighting with all available means, and we demonstrate that with this grant of US$1 million, to be immediately disbursed through the World Health Organisation to abate and control further spread of the disease” Kitabire said.
He said the financial support was there to complement the Zimbabwean government’s efforts to prevent further deaths from the waterborne disease.
“This support will complement government’s efforts and assistance by development partners as well as (WHO) to avert a national and regional social and economic catastrophe by making it possible to prevent further deaths from cholera as well as containing its spread beyond the current affected areas,” he said.
“While a response mechanism is already in existence, the financial assistance for the procurement of supplies as well as improved case management will assist to mitigate further spread of infection, particularly due to increased movement of people within the country and across borders during this festive Christmas season which will be further worsened by the rainy season which is upon us.”
The grant, Kitabire said, would be used to procure and distribute emergency response equipment and supplies, including oral rehydration salts, chlorine, diarrhoea disease kits and drugs.
Zimbabwe Finance and Economic Development Minister Mthuli Ncube, who received the grant on behalf of the government, said the grant would prove very helpful.
“The grant will go a long way in assisting the country in terms of sanitation and infrastructure development,” he said.
“The funds will be administered over a period of 12 months.”
More than 50 people have succumbed to the cholera outbreak since September. It has been declared a national disaster.