MALAWI – The Government of the United States of America, through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), has provided US$2.1 million to the government of Malawi to scale up the ongoing cholera outbreak response.

The USA also committed an additional US$400,000 to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in Malawi to carry out interventions in heavily impacted districts in Malawi and help prevent cholera transmission in districts affected by flooding from Tropical Cyclone Freddy.

UNICEF will work in collaboration with the Ministries of Health and Water and Sanitation to reach at least 300,000 people, including approximately 127,000 children, by providing lifesaving water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) services in schools and in surrounding communities.

“In most affected communities, cholera originates from unsafe water and inadequate sanitation,” a press release said.

“Consequently, improving access to better and climate-resilient water supply systems in communities and healthcare facilities is crucial to saving lives, enhancing people’s well-being, and reducing the burden of WASH-related diseases on Malawi’s health system.”

The funding from the U.S. government, which is the largest donor to UNICEF, will enable the UN agency to plan to rehabilitate and upgrade water schemes and sanitation facilities in health facilities and schools, supply essential cholera prevention materials, and engage communities with cholera prevention messages.

“UNICEF will also help learners return safely to school in some of the districts impacted by Tropical Cyclone Freddy, like Blantyre, by providing soap, clean water, and wash buckets; conducting water quality monitoring and treatment; and promoting hygiene in schools and in surrounding communities,” added the press release.

USAID Acting Mission Director, Anna Toness, said the new funding comes in response to President Lazarus Chakwera’s disaster declaration and the Tithetse Cholera campaign.

“The new US$2.5 million builds on USAID’s long-standing support to Malawi. We are proud to partner with UNICEF and the Government of Malawi to accelerate our joint efforts to end cholera,” Toness said.

Dr Gianfranco Rotigliano, UNICEF Malawi Representative, commended USAID for their timely support in enhancing access to safe water and promoting good hygiene and sanitation practices.

“Malawi has been grappling with a devastating cholera outbreak for over a year, resulting in the tragic loss of more than 1,700 lives,” emphasized Rotigliano.

“With over 14,000 children affected and 230 young lives lost, the outbreak presents a significant threat to the health and survival of children across Malawi.

“While we work with our partners to address their immediate needs, we must prioritize investing in and strengthening access to quality healthcare and clean water and sanitation facilities in vulnerable communities.”

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