WASHINGTON, Dec 11 The U.S. government, through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), is providing an additional $6.2 million and has deployed a Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) to help combat the cholera outbreak in Zimbabwe. This assistance is in addition to more than $4.6 million for emergency water, sanitation, and hygiene program that USAID is already implementing in Zimbabwe.
This new funding will provide additional health and water, sanitation, and hygiene programs, as well as allow USAID to support coordination efforts such as intensifying community health and hygiene promotion and education activities. USAID is also bringing in emergency relief supplies such as soap, water bladders and rehydration solution to address the most pressing needs.
The DART, including a specialist from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is working to coordinate the U.S. assistance effort with other donors' efforts and provide technical assistance to the international community. According to the UN, cholera has caused nearly 800 deaths, with more than 16,400 cases reported.
"The USAID DART is working to get aid to those who have contracted cholera and those who are at risk of contracting cholera," said USAID Administrator Henrietta H. Fore. "Poor water and sanitation systems coupled with increasingly inaccessible health and other services have caused the cholera outbreak in Zimbabwe. This outbreak is a breakdown of Zimbabwe's government services, plain and simple."
This recent contribution brings the total U.S. humanitarian assistance to Zimbabwe's food and health crisis to more than $226 million since October 2007. This emergency assistance is in addition to the approximately $32.2 million U.S. development program in Zimbabwe in Fiscal Year 2008.
The U.S. is the leading food donor to Zimbabwe, providing the majority of all international food aid distributed through non-governmental organizations and the World Food Program. In addition, the U.S. contributed over $30 million last fiscal year for HIV/AIDS programs and funded 33 percent of the Global Fund's multilateral programs.
For more information about USAID's emergency humanitarian assistance programs, please visit: www.usaid.gov/our_work/humanitarian_assistance/disaster_assistance/.
Public Information: 202-712-4810
SOURCE U.S. Agency for International Development