The Government of Japan has pledged a grant of US$774,000 to assist Zimbabwe’s emergency cholera response program in Manicaland Province. The funding will be administered through UNICEF, and target the most vulnerable communities in the province which has been severely affected by the cholera outbreak.
The grant aims to provide a comprehensive range of life-saving interventions, including access to safe water, essential hygiene materials, healthcare services, and nutrition support. It will also address child protection concerns and provide other critical social services. The funding comes at a critical juncture in the cholera response efforts, as Zimbabwe strives to allocate resources to urgently address and break the cycle of cholera transmission.
Manicaland Province and Harare have been the hardest hit areas, accounting for 64% of all cholera cases in the country.
The UNICEF Representative in Zimbabwe, Dr. Tajudeen Oyewale, expressed gratitude for the support, stating;
“We are extremely grateful to the Government of Japan for this assistance. This demonstrates the commitment of the Japanese government to the people of Zimbabwe in addressing the urgent needs of affected communities and building resilience in the face of public health emergencies,” he said.
The newly allocated funding will enable the Government of Zimbabwe, UNICEF, and their partners to scale up the multi-sectoral cholera response in the affected areas. The priorities will include improving support and treatment for individuals infected by cholera, ensuring access to safe water with a focus on rehabilitating sustainable and climate-resilient boreholes, and disseminating cholera prevention and treatment messages through various media platforms and interpersonal communication channels.
The Ambassador of Japan to Zimbabwe, H.E. Mr. Shinichi Yamanaka, expressed hopes that the support would aid the quick recovery and rebuilding of lives for the most vulnerable people. He also expressed a desire to prevent further spread of the disease and future outbreaks.
The cholera outbreak, which hit Zimbabwe in February 2023 has since resulted in over 21 000 suspected cholera cases, 2 387 confirmed cases, 21 134 recoveries, 71 confirmed cases and more than 416 suspected deaths.