Grant from Japan to help UNICEF in Haiti’s cholera fight

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PORT AU PRINCE, Haiti, Feb. 23, CMC – A grant amounting to just over two million US dollars from the Government of Japan will allow the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to help reduce cholera-related morbidity and mortality in Haiti in 2017 and 2018.

“With this gift from the Japanese people, we will strengthen the axes of the fight against cholera in the protection of the Haitian population, especially children,” said Marc Vincent, UNICEF’s Representative in Haiti in welcoming the contribution.

“Japan is a key partner and we thank the Japanese people for their continued support,” he added.

Haiti has been dealing with a cholera outbreak since October 2010, nine months after it suffered a devastating earthquake.

The outbreak has affected an estimated 788,000 people and claimed the lives of more than 9,000. Concerted national and international efforts, backed by the United Nations, have resulted in a 90 per cent reduction in the number of suspected cases.

The US$2.6 million grant will help strengthen the nation’s epidemiological coordination and surveillance; and support conducting timely surveys, rapid response teams and case management, as well as improving and increasing awareness of cholera-related hygiene.

According to UNICEF, the cholera epidemic in Haiti continues to be the largest in the western hemisphere. More than 41,000 suspected cases of cholera have been reported throughout Haiti in 2016.

With the new funds, interventions will be implemented across the country with an emphasis on the cholera-prone departments of Center, North, West, Grand’Anse, Sud (South), and Artibonite.

Japan’s Ambassador to Haiti, Yoshiaki Hatta, said the grant had been decided upon a resurgence in suspected cholera cases resulting from the deterioration of the sanitary and hygiene situation caused by rainy seasons or natural disasters.

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