IFRC launches urgent CHF 3 million appeal to combat cholera outbreak in Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe Red Cross brings its cholera response directly to affected communities.

Zimbabwe Red Cross brings its cholera response directly to affected communities.

Photo: Zimbabwe Red Cross

Harare/Nairobi/Geneva, 17 November 2023 — The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) has launched an emergency appeal for 3 million Swiss Francs to support the Zimbabwe Red Cross Society (ZRCS). The health needs exceed available resources, meaning immediate action to is needed to mitigate the impact on affected communities.

Zimbabwe is currently grappling with a severe cholera outbreak, placing immense strain on healthcare systems, and necessitating coordinated action. The outbreak has led to increased morbidity and mortality rates, posing a significant threat to public health and demanding immediate attention.

The IFRC had previously allocated CHF 464,595 from its Disaster Response Emergency Fund (DREF) to support the relief efforts. The Emergency Appeal focuses on critical areas, including the prevention and control of the cholera spread, improved case management, and the enhancement of water and sanitation facilities. The appeal also underscores the importance of community engagement, accountability, and inclusivity in providing a holistic response to the diverse needs of affected communities.

John Roche, IFRC Head of Delegation Country Cluster for Zimbabwe, Zambia and Malawi said:

Access to clean and portable water remain among the most urgent needs in the community. We are deeply concerned with the situation unfolding as before the rains cases have escalated. The IFRC and Zimbabwe Red Cross Society are seeking resources through the appeal that supports activities that can contribute to stopping the spread and transmission of Cholera which will deescalate the worrying trends.”

Zimbabwe Red Cross Society staff and volunteers have been mobilised and continue to respond to the outbreak by increasing awareness on water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) practices, emphasising the importance of WASH education for healthier communities. This commencement of public health education is being done in collaboration with Zimbabwe’s Ministry of Health.

Currently the new cases reported are increasing at a high level and rising at an accelerating pace. This has created an urgency to increase mitigation measures to curb further spread and reduce cross border transmission.

More information:

For further details on our response to the Cholera outbreak in Zimbabwe, visit the Zimbabwe Red Cross Society website or the IFRC appeal page.

To request an interview, please contact: [email protected]    

In Harare:

Kim Stambuli, ZRCS: +263 71 251 72 64

In Nairobi:

Rita Wanjiru Nyaga: +254 11 083 71 54

In Geneva:

Tommaso Della Longa: +41 79 708 43 67

Mrinalini Santhanam: +41 76 381 50 06

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