Haiti: US$ 10 million World Bank grant to bolster efforts against cholera, WHO warns that 400,00 could be affected

In response to the cholera outbreak in Haiti, the World Bank is preparing a US$ 10 million Cholera Emergency Grant as part its US$ 479 million reconstruction support. As of 22 November 2010 the outbreak has caused 1,523 deaths and could kill up to 10,000 people and affect 40,000 if the outbreak is not contained, according to the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO). The UN has appealed for US$ 164 million for additional treatment centres, scaled-up public information campaigns, supplies of medical equipment, rehydration salts, water purification tablets and bars of soap to respond to the outbreak.

The US$ 10 million grant will bolster the surveillance and monitoring capacity of the Ministry of Public Health and Population (MSPP) and the Haitian National Directorate of Water Supply and Sanitation (DINEPA). The initiative is aligned with the Cholera Inter-Sector Response Strategic Plan for Haiti, under the leadership of MSPP and DINEPA.

The grant will also help NGOs provide clean water and basic health services to affected people, and safe sanitation and waste management in high risk areas. These activities will complement existing hygiene awareness and prevention efforts such as the creation of a “Public Health Brigade”.

Through a Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery grant of US$ 200,000, the World Bank is identifying national and international actors already involved in these tasks, preparing a standardized training plan and training a core group of 250 trainers. It will also finance an awareness and prevention campaign.

The Bank has also provided assistance to the Directorate of Civil Protection since the beginning of the cholera outbreak to coordinate the response of the Government and its partners. This assistance has supported the setup and manning of the National Emergency Operation Center and management of the national campaign «Konbit kont Kolera,» which raises awareness on cholera and its prevention.

Civil unrest since 15 November 2010 has slowed down several activities, particularly in the Northern city of Cap Haitian. Trainings on cholera treatment and initiatives to chlorinate water for 300 000 people had to be postponed.

For the latest updates on the Haiti cholera outbreak go to ReliefWeb.

Source: World Bank, 24 Nov 2010

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