Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube has signed a $US 1 million Cholera Emergency Tripartite Grant Agreement with the Africa Development Bank (AfDB) and the World Health Organisation (WHO) in Harare today.
The grant will complement the government’s efforts and assistance by development partners, as well as the 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 the disease spread beyond the affected areas according to the AfDB Country Manager Zimbabwe Office, Damoni Kitabire who signed the agreement
“The Minister of Finance and Economic Development specifically requested the bank for financial assistance, to control the crisis, and today’s ceremony is evidence of our ability to respond to our ‘Regional Member Countries’ need when required,” Kitabire said.
“In our view, this is a crisis worth fighting with all available means, and we demonstrate that today, with this Grant of US$1 million, to be immediately disbursed through the World Health Organisation (WHO), to abate and control further spread of the disease.”
The signing of the tripartite comes after the September 2018 cholera claimed 55 lives with 10,202 cases as of 21 November according to the United Nations International Children Emergency Funds (UNICEF).
UNICEF also estimates that 21 percent of the reported cases are children under the age of 5 years.
Finance Minister, during the signing of the grant, blamed the outbreak of the disease to the lack of adequate infrastructure in Zimbabwe.
The Minister also said that, besides the AfDB grant, $13 million has already been raised by other partners, companies and also through crowdsourcing.
The Cholera Grant signing agreement was attended by, United Nations Development Program (UNDP) Residency Coordinator, Bishow Parajuli and the Country Representative for the World Health Organisation (WHO) Dr. Alex Gasasira who also signed the tripartite.
Cholera has been recurring in Zimbabwe as it also took place in 2008 and in 2013.