The United States Increases Emergency Assistance to UNICEF by $1.3m to Support Lebanon’s Response to the Cholera Outbreak

28 December 2022
From left to right, Edouard Beigbeder, UNICEF Representative in Lebanon, Dorothy Shea, U.S. ambassador in Lebanon and Firas Al Abiad Lebanese Minister of public health

December 28, 2022 – In response to the Cholera outbreak in Lebanon, the United States Government has made available an additional $1.3 million for UNICEF’s emergency response to contain Cholera and stop transmission in affected areas.

Since the start of the outbreak, UNICEF has been ramping up prevention efforts with partners on the ground to strengthen the health response through the provision of medicine and hygiene kits; the sanitation systems and hygiene practices at the household and community levels, focusing on areas already experiencing an outbreak and those at high risk. Through this new U.S. Government funding, UNICEF will be able to scale up its support by improving access to safe water and sanitation across facilities and water points in hotspot areas and personal hygiene through the distribution of Disinfection Kits and Cholera Family Hygiene Kits to vulnerable communities.

“The United States counts UNICEF among its most important partners,” said U.S. Ambassador Dorothy Shea.  “As we enter the new year and confront both new and ongoing challenges, the United States looks forward to a continuing coordination with the Government of Lebanon and other donor countries, our United Nations and civil society partners, and most importantly, the recipients of our humanitarian assistance. We are in this together.”

“Through the support of our international partners, we were able to successfully respond to the cholera outbreak and this is very important especially in these challenging times that the country is facing,” said Firas Abiad, Minister of public health.

“All of this was possible because of donor’s headed by the Government of the United States, through their support to hospitals and health centers, and also through the efforts of international organizations namely UNICEF, WHO, UNHCR, as well as other partners.”

Infront of the Halba Hospital

Through existing funding from the U.S. Government, UNICEF also procured and distributed emergency medical supplies to hospitals designated for Cholera management, including 150,000 Oral Rehydration Salts (ORS) and 40 Cholera Treatment Kits to support the treatment of 5,000 cholera cases and symptoms including moderate to severe diarrhoea. Additional orders have been received and many more supplies will be delivered in the coming weeks.

“Containing and preventing cholera is a priority for UNICEF and we are employing every effort to support the government to ensure the safeguarding of children and their families,” said Edouard Beigbeder, UNICEF Representative in Lebanon. “Sustainable access to safe water and sanitation is critical to prevent recurring outbreaks, alongside building strong healthcare systems and engaging with communities to raise awareness and support good hygiene practices. I want to thank the United States Government for their continuous, sustainable support of children and families affected by this terrible crisis”.

During the opening ceremony

On 14 October, UNICEF published a flash appeal on the critical humanitarian response needed for the initial Cholera response, which includes interventions in WASH, Health and Nutrition, RCCE, and Education. To date, UNICEF has received USD 5 million towards the appeal.

To learn on the prevention measures and how to support children, visit:

Media contacts

Blanche Baz
Communication Specialist
United Nations Children’s Fund Lebanon


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