An emergency grant of 10 million dollars for Haiti's efforts to fight a spreading cholera epidemic that has already killed more than 1,400 people has been announced by the World Bank.
The grant, aimed at expanding Haiti's capacity to monitor and prevent such outbreaks, will be formally submitted for approval in December, but up to 40 percent of it can be used now to reimburse expenditures already incurred, the bank said.
The World Bank is funding non-governmental organizations operating in Haiti that are already providing urgent cholera treatment as well as preventive care to vulnerable Haitians.
"By boosting the efforts of NGOs already operating on the ground, our response becomes much more effective and rapid than if we did it on our own," project leader Maryanne Sharp said in a statement from Port-au-Prince.
Up to eight million dollars of the funding is to go toward boosting the capacity of the non-profit groups, Sharp said.
"They have the setup in place to work very quickly," she added.
The Pan-American Health Organization recently warned there could be up to 400,000 cases over the next year, with as many as 10,000 deaths, if the outbreak is not contained.
Haitian health authorities say the epidemic has killed at least 1,415 people, with 25,000 requiring hospital treatment.
Last week the United Nations expressed disappointment with the international response to the organization's appeal to collect 164 million dollars to help combat the epidemic in Haiti, which is still reeling from a catastrophic January earthquake that killed 250,000 people.
UN Humanitarian Coordinator Nigel Fisher said on Saturday that contributions up to that point had stood at less than 10 percent of what was needed.