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European Union and UNICEF fighting cholera together in Somalia

Brussels/Mogadishu, 27 June 2017 – A joint EU-UNICEF humanitarian emergency initiative will support 602,000 people in Somalia, including some 301,000 children and 156,500 women, in regions worst affected by a serious acute watery diarrhoea (AWD)/cholera outbreak linked to prolonged drought. More than 53,000 AWD/cholera cases and nearly 800 deaths have been reported since the start of the year, many of them young children.

The €4.5 million support from the EU will fund lifesaving interventions to curb cholera transmission and ramp up emergency assistance for people newly displaced by drought and conflict. This will include the provision of treatment for water sources as well as medicines to prevent the spread of the disease. The partnership will also support the tracing of those affected including in schools and in settlements for internally displaced people. Communities will be closely involved in the response.

“Unless urgent action is taken, the lives of hundreds of thousands of children in Somalia are at grave risk from acute watery diarrhoea and cholera,” said UNICEF Deputy Executive Director Omar Abdi. “That’s why this partnership with the EU is so critically important. It will ensure that we can continue to provide lifesaving support for the children and families who need it most, making the difference between life and death for thousands of people.”
The funds will also enable the deployment of trained rapid response teams to implement the programmes, emergency water trucking and the treatment of water sources. Local communities will engage in the promotion of good sanitation and hygiene practices in schools.

“The European Union is committed to supporting the Somali people in need. With cholera and famine threatening we need to take action. Our humanitarian support with UNICEF will help hundreds of thousands of people and provide life-saving treatment and prevent the disease from spreading," said EU Commissioner Stylianides, responsible for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management.


>> Read the press release in Somali

About European Commission's Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO):
The European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department (ECHO) funds relief operations for victims of natural disasters and conflicts outside the European Union. Aid is channeled impartially, straight to victims, regardless of their race, ethnic group, religion, gender, age, nationality or political affiliation. The European Commission is among UNICEF’s largest humanitarian donors.

UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere. For more information about UNICEF and its work visit:

For further information, please contact:
Anouk Delafortrie, Regional Information Officer
EU Civil Protection & Humanitarian Aid (ECHO)
Mobile: + 254 722 791 604, email:

Susannah Price, Chief of Communication
UNICEF Somalia
Mobile: +254 722 719867,



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