CERF funding supports anticipatory action for cholera in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
The Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) has released 750,000 US dollars (697,474 euros) for anticipatory action for cholera in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The funding will support UNICEF, WHO and their partners to provide life-saving assistance to over 150,000 people, mitigating the spread of cholera to avoid a larger outbreak. The focus of the activities will be: the rapid detection and confirmation of cases; interrupting the transmission of cholera through UNICEF’s case area targeted interventions and WHO’s 'quadrillage' approach; providing medical treatment; and promoting safe hygiene practices.
Cholera cases have been increasing rapidly in the Nyiragongo region, North Kivu, and children account for nearly four in every five cases, according to Save the Children. Over 1,600 cases of cholera have been reported in recent weeks in Nyiragongo, which hosts the largest number of people displaced by the recent escalation in conflict in the country.
The CERF funding is part of a two-year pilot initiative, which was endorsed in December 2022 as an OCHA-facilitated framework for anticipatory action for cholera. This was developed through a close collaboration between OCHA, the Resident Coordinator’s Office, UNICEF, WHO, the National Program for the Elimination of Cholera and the Control of Other Diarrheal Diseases, and other partners.
“We know we need longer-term investments in water and sanitation to put cholera behind [us]," says Juan Chaves-Gonzalez, who is leading OCHA's pilot project for anticipatory action for cholera. "While that happens, we need to get ahead of it so that in countries like the Democratic Republic of the Congo, catching and controlling a small cluster of cases can avoid a crisis. That’s what anticipatory action for cholera is about.”
The funding released from CERF is a preliminary allocation and may change; no projects have been formally approved at this stage, and the funding has not been disbursed. The CERF website will provide updates on the specific projects that will be funded under this allocation, as they are approved by OCHA’s emergency relief coordinator, Martin Griffiths. The final envelope will be determined by the eligibility of the activities as detailed in the proposals according to the CERF’s life-saving criteria.
Photo © Dr Alou Traore, WHO in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
Thanks to Daniel Ham and. Juan Chaves-Gonzalez for their help with this article.
“We know we need longer-term investments in water and sanitation to put cholera behind [us]. While that happens, we need to get ahead of it so that, in countries like the Democratic Republic of the Congo, catching and controlling a small cluster of cases can avoid a crisis. That’s what anticipatory action for cholera is about.”