The EU has released emergency humanitarian funding of EUR 1.5 million to support Malawi in its efforts to address the ongoing cholera epidemic in the country. The current cholera epidemic broke out in February 2022 and is considered the worst in a decade. It has already resulted in over 49,000 cases, with over 1,500 deaths reported. All 29 districts of the country are affected. Commissioner for Crisis Management Janez Lenarčič said: “Cholera remains a tragic reality for many countries. Unsafe and contaminated water sources and poor hygiene practices are among the main factors increasing the risk of the disease spreading. Our funding will support our humanitarian partners on the ground in controlling and eventually vanquishing the disease”.
In addition, the EU has increased by EUR 500,000 its contribution to an ongoing UNICEF project providing life-saving health and WASH services to cholera-affected communities to improve case management and reduce deaths. The original funding, of EUR 540,000 had been allocated in November 2022 to support UNICEF in its efforts to combat cholera.
Inadequate infection prevention and control practices by communities and poor knowledge of cholera by health staff also increase the risk of the outbreak spreading. The EU funding of EUR 1.5 million will support WHO in procuring essential supplies to strengthen its rapid response capabilities, carry out district-level forecasting for supplies and develop a multi-partner information-sharing system for the best use of resources. Malawi is highly vulnerable to serious infrastructural damage caused by heavy rains, cyclones and floods during the rainy season, including critical WASH infrastructure.
In 2022, the EU also released emergency funding for cholera epidemics in other parts of the world, including Syria, Ethiopia and Haiti.
The European Union and its Member States are the world’s leading donor of humanitarian aid. Relief assistance is an expression of European solidarity with people in need all around the world. It aims to save lives, prevent and alleviate human suffering, and safeguard the integrity and human dignity of populations affected by natural disasters and man-made crises.
Through the European Commission’s Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations department, the European Union helps millions of victims of conflict and disasters every year. With headquarters in Brussels and a global network of field offices, the European Union provides assistance to the most vulnerable people on the basis of humanitarian needs.
For more information, please visit the European Commission’s website.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Delegation of the European Union to the Republic of Malawi.