CERF provides $3 million for Zimbabwe cholera response
15 June 2011: More than $3 million was provided from the CERF in June to respond to a cholera outbreak that threatened the lives of more than four million people in Zimbabwe.
Cholera has infected nearly 100,000 people in the Southern African country since 2008, claiming more than 4,000 lives. Lack of investment in water service delivery during the past decade in Zimbabwe has limited safe water supplies country-wide, putting many of the population at high risk of infection from cholera and other water-borne diseases.
The $3 million provided by the CERF enabled the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to provide chemicals to treat water for four million people, including more than half a million children under five. The CERF also allowed UNICEF to provide non-food items to prevent cholera (including water purification tablets, soap and water containers) for a further 40,000 people in particularly high-risk areas.
CERF allocates $1 million in response to storm damage in Zimbabwe
31 March 2011: In response to the need for emergency rehabilitation support for schools affected by storms, CERF has allocated some $1 million for humanitarian response in Zimbabwe. The International Organization for Migration (IOM) will use this allocation to provide emergency repair of classrooms and latrines, as well as stock materials for schools to main repair work done in the future. This project will have a long-term, positive effect on the community infrastructure critical to investing in education for children.
School assessments conducted by Ministry personnel in Zimbabwe indicate that there is an urgent need for school rehabilitation assistance. In many cases, children are now attending school in the open, and many children are forced to walk long distances to schools that have been less affected by the storms. With parts of schools closed, children are learning in cramped and unhealthy school environments. Sanitation facilities are becoming a public health concern, and many girls are dropping out of school because they do not have the privacy of separate sanitation areas.
Apart from repairing and expanding physical infrastructure, school heads and school development committees (SDC) have requested support for child protection and essential life-saving skills training for all school staff and students. This programme is mean to provide training for the 70 schools that are selected for this emergency rehabilitation project.
School heads and SDCs have stated that communities will be willing to contribute voluntary labour and, where possible, expertise to maximize the resources. This has been demonstrated by their already active involvement with minor repair work, and more resources will give much needed support to their initiatives.