Cholera outbreak in Eastern and Southern Africa
Over 28 million people in need across 11 countries
The cholera outbreak in Eastern and Southern Africa isn’t just an outbreak, it’s an emergency for children
Eleven countries in the region are currently battling one of the worst cholera outbreaks to hit the region in years.
28 million people are in need in Malawi, Mozambique, Somalia, Kenya, Ethiopia, Zambia, South Sudan, Burundi, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, and South Africa.
To respond to the increasing needs of children and families in the region impacted by cholera, UNICEF is urgently calling for funding of US$171 million.
UNICEF is focused on mobilizing essential lifesaving support, that includes emergency health supplies, medical products, technical support for outbreak control, risk communication and community engagement for prevention and early treatment, as well as safe water and nutrition supplies. We’re also working on social protection and supporting livelihoods, as well as keeping children safe and learning.
Flexible funding will help us not just protect more children and communities in need today but go towards building more resilient systems to protect children in the future.
Help us eradicate cholera and remove this burden from children and families who are already carrying too much.
Situation in numbers
Number of people in need in eastern and southern Africa due to the cholera epidemic and its effect on water supplies (which are contaminated in many areas), food insecurity, and the provision of lifesaving services.
Approximate number of children in need in eastern and southern Africa due to the cholera epidemic and its effect on water supplies (which are contaminated in many areas), food insecurity, acute malnutrition, and the provision of lifesaving services for children.
Cumulative number of cholera cases in eastern and southern Africa as of the third week of March 2023.
Case fatality rate in Lilongwe, Malawi’s capital city, which is one of the country’s cholera epicenters (as of February 2023). When people with cholera receive early quality care, case fatality rates typically remain below 1 per cent. The high fatality rate in Lilongwe (and Malawi as a whole) is a function of inadequate care.
UNICEF is developing individualized cholera response plans based on the unique conditions within each affected country.
In total, UNICEF is appealing for US$170,830,332 to provide lifesaving WASH, health, risk communication, nutrition, child protection, and education services to women and children affected by the outbreak.
The budgets for both Malawi and Mozambique include requirements to address each country’s recent cyclone-related flooding, given that flooding is a priority compounding risk to the spread of cholera.
UNICEF is currently frontloading its internal core resources to respond to the emergency on a no-regrets basis. This includes new loan and grant financing and repurposed core resources to fast-track procurement needs and enhanced community outreach.
|Affected countries||Requirements||Funding gap|
Generous partners have already contributed US$18.3 million to support the cholera response across eastern and southern Africa. With those funds, UNICEF has been able to scale-up the supply of chlorine for water purification, medicine for infection prevention and control, and risk communication messages that emphasize the importance of early care and treatment for cholera infections.
Unfortunately, UNICEF has a regional funding gap of 89 per cent, which is limiting UNICEF’s ability to meet the full requirements of children and women affected by the crisis. For UNICEF and its partners to respond quickly and equitably based on need, especially in underfunded sectors, flexible resources will play a critical role.
Download the Call to action for more details.