CERF allocates $1.3 million to mitigate cholera in the Congo

25 November 2011:  The Central Emergency Response Fund has allocated more than $1.3 million to UNICEF and WHO in response to a cholera outbreak in the Congo.

Communities affected by the current cholera outbreak are mostly landlocked and located along the Congo river. Access to clean water is a major challenge. People retrieve water from surface water sources that are largely unclean. Sanitation and hygiene conditions are precarious. The epidemic is further fueled by the the persistence of an ongoing refugee crisis in Likouala department which has underminded partner efforts to contain the current cholera outbreak. As of the beginning of the epidemic, more than 699 cases have been registered. High morbidity due to the disease is affecting all age groups, with a fatality rate well above acceptable thresholds. The risk of further spread of the epidemic is a concern.

The CERF has provided a rapid response grant of $993,482  to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to reduce mortality and morbidity due to cholera in 6 departments of the Congo. With local partners, UNICEF will rehabilitate and construct 20 new water points, establish 50 chlorination points and provide water purification tablets. Emergency latrines and water disinfection points for households will also be constructed. Water and Sanitation packets for cholera treatment centres will be distributed to affected populations.

A grant of $402,472 has been given to the World Health Organization (WHO)  to strengthen the capacity of health services and communities to undertake surveillance activities. WHO activities will help ensure than 80 per cent of the local population affected by the epidemic is informed about cholera and preventative measures.

Through CERF supported interventions in the Republic of the Congo, it is expected that morbidity due to diarrhea will be reduced by 95 per cent and the fatality rate will be less than 1 per cent.

CERF in Action - Rapid Response